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The Way To Happiness The philosophy of these lessons: Look, Learn, Practice

Chapter 17 of "The Way To Happiness" deals with Competence. I've found that too many limit their own progress as an artist with the concept that they "haven't got the talent." 90% of being a good professional artist is about looking for yourself, learning (including good study habits), and practicing what you have learned to become Competent. If you are interested in a free copy of "The Way to Happiness", please email me for one.

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Lesson 18

1. Thought

"It was ... a surprise to read in Thomas Eakins: His Life and Art that during his lifetime he was only moderately successful. In fact, some of his paintings were rejected by those who commissioned them. ... Eakins's father had accumulated some money and could afford to subsidize the artist for much of his life. In a way, Eakins's situation reminded me of Cezanne's. Both artists were supported by their fathers and both did experimental work not easily understood by their contemporaries. Cezanne, however, became a recluse and didn't openly confront the art establishment. Whereas Eakins believed his work was as good or superior to that of well-known artists of his day, and he constantly tried to prove it." - Book Review of Thomas Eakins: His Life and Art, Homer. Review written by Walter Garver for The Artist's Magazine, June 93

2. Word for the week:

Broken Color: In the "Broken Color" approach, form is modeled with different colors rather than with variations of one main color. In this case, [the] orange [from the last example] might include a distinct purple for the shadows and an unmixed yellow for the highlight. ... Unlike local color, which is blended to achieve the illusion of volume, broken color gives its best performance when applied to the canvas in direct, unblended brushstrokes. Painted in close proximity, strokes form an "optical mixture" that creates the three-dimensional illusion of form. from Answers by John Kevin Flynn, The Artist's Mag May 1993

3. Practice: "Learning bears fruit when it is applied."

Broken color approaches to painting resemble the approach that some of the impressionists (such as Seurat) adopted to painting. Paint was not thoroughly blended on the canvas. The viewer was to do the final mixing with the eye. Try some exercises in which you identify the colors contained in a simple form (such as an orange, a pear or an apple) and then apply the colors in short overlapping but unblended strokes.

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Last updated: October 7, 2005