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.
1. What is the difference between oils, alkyds and acrylics?
American Artist Magazine (Nov. 91) gives the following
discussion: In oils the dry color is mixed with linseed oil.
The linseed oil dries by combining with oxygen to form a new
molecule. This oxidation process may takes up to a few weeks
to dry to the touch and generally takes many years to dry
thoroughly enough for the final transparency of the color
to be observed. Alkyds combine some substances with oil used
as the mixing vehicle for the dry color to speed up the drying
time. They dry faster than oils and form durable paint films
which have similar qualities to the oils. They are more subject
to cracking than acrylics. They combine the easy manipulative
qualities of oil with the fast-drying qualities of acrylics.
Acrylics use an 'emulsifier' that lets water be mixed freely
with the 'sticky' polymers. With acrylics, the water evaporates
and the acrylic molecules form bonds. When used properly,
acrylics do not crack. However, they haven't yet been tested
over a long period of time. A lot of information has been
collected over the years about what works and doesn't work
with oil paints. Acrylics and alkyds are so new that no one
can yet say how they'll stand up after several hundred years.
2. Word for the week:
AESTHETIC: Pertaining to the beautiful, refined,
tasteful and artistic - North Light Dictionary of Art Terms
AESTHETICS: Also, esthetics. [<German Aesthetik
>New Latin aesthetica >Greek aisthetikos
sensitive > aisthanesthai perceive]
3. Practice: "Learning bears fruit when it is applied."
Exercise: values and grounds.
homework, Try starting a painting or drawing on a medium toned
ground. You can start with a medium gray paper and use black
and white chalks, or you can tone a canvas to a medium gray
to start and then work to lights and darks. (Note: sometimes
it is useful to work on a gray or medium toned undercoat rather
than white. Starting with white as your base color will give
you the tendency, early on in a painting, to evaluate all
colors and values of the developing drawing against the white
of the ground.)
Alternate: (if assigned by instructor)
Students beginning to work with color will learn color mixing
better through use of a limited palette.
recommend the following:
- Cadmium Yellow Medium (or light)
- Alizarin Crimson
- Ultramarine Blue
- and, of course, white -- to make tints.
These come close to the three primary hues on the color wheel.
With these three colors and white, make a beginning color
wheel: Put the three colors at three equal points around the
wheel. Then mix equal parts of these three colors and put
each resulting secondary color midway between the primary
colors. The example to the right doesn't fully duplicate this,
but the general idea is shown.