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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 20

1. Thought

"In an almost totally monochromatic picture, warm-grey values bring a subject forward or closer to the viewer. Conversely, cool-grey values make objects recede in the background. A dependable rule of thumb is: objects in the foreground appear closer when they are darker and warmer in value; objects in the background appear more distant when done with lighter, cooler values." Bill Tilton, Artists Magazine, Feb 92

2. Words:

ACID-FREE: Acid is what makes paper or mat board become discolored or brittle. A board or paper with a neutral pH (7.0) contains no acid and is considered safe to use. Boards labeled "acid free" are either neutral or slightly alkaline. (from Artists' Magazine, January, 91)

If you're drawing for practice and not concerned with the longevity of the product, use inexpensive paper, newsprint, etc. But for good conservation, choose paper products and mounting products that are acid-free. I have seen a charcoal drawing on newsprint turn deep brown within 30 years, even though mounted and framed.

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

The following would be a useful exercise if you can set yourself up to do it. Do a value drawing (black and white only), but use warm and cool grays. There are many ways you can get these grays. You can mix a brown and blue pigment. The proportion of brown to blue will determine whether it's a warm or cool grey. You can buy warm and cool grey markers at art supply stores. You can buy warm and cool grey pastels too. You can cut out warm and cool grays from magazines. Try a composition using some of the clues for depth including use of warm and cool grays. Then try the reverse, that is, put the cool grays where the closest objects are and the warm grays where the farther objects are. Bring your exercises in to class.

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Last updated: March 1, 2004