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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 24

1. Thought

Excerpt from an interview with Janet Kierstead talking about 5 years she spent working as an art therapist.

"The only danger of such training is that you begin to see everything in art as a psychological revelation, and you don't want to think like that every time you paint. A painting has to stand on its own as a work of art." Janet Kierstead, American Artist, July 92 p.49

Comment: that doesn't mean, of course, that your art can't have a "message" or a psychological or spiritual impact. Do some thinking on what you want your art to convey.

2. Words:
The term lightfastness refers to the ability of a color to resist fading, of other color change, under conditions of extreme exposure to a radiant source of light. For artists concerned with the durability and permanence of their work, lightfastness is certainly a primary factor to consider when making color selections. Lightfastness does not, however, ensure permanence. While it is a critical component, the effects of pollutants, temperature, humidity, acids, alkalis and other factors must also be considered. Note that permanence (as referred to in color markers) does not ensure lightfastness. Fine artists should not incorporate markers into their works because these are not usually lightfast. (Excerpted from Daniel Smith catalog of May-July, 92

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

Color has value and it is useful to be very conscious of this. I suggest the following exercise:

Do a value scale (from white to black) across the top of your drawing page. Take each of the colors on your palette and, on a separate row under the value scale, place the fully saturated color at the correct point on the value scale. (For instance, even a full hue of yellow would fit towards the white end of the scale, while blue will fit towards the black end of the scale.) Then, for each color, work back and forth on the value scale, towards white by adding white, and towards black by adding the complementary of the color you are exploring. As a final check, take a black and white photo or take the completed exercise to a copying machine and make a copy in black and white.

color value scale Color value scale B&W

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Last updated: April 6, 2012