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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.

Lesson 5

1. " ...art is a means of transcending time in the communication of felt experience between human beings." Bruce Holly, "Convergence", ArtCalendar, Feb '92

" ART is a word which summarizes THE QUALITY OF COMMUNICATION. It therefore follows the laws of communication. Too much originality throws the audience into unfamiliarity and therefore disagreement, as communication contains duplication and 'originality' is the foe of duplication. TECHNIQUE should not rise above the level of workability for the purpose of communication." L. Ron Hubbard, ART, excerpt from the essay: "The Fundamentals of Art, Basic Definition"

Do some thinking about what ART means to you.

2. Word for the week: ART: Any artistic endeavor, such as painting, sculpture, singing, playing an instrument, or dancing. Also a craft, such as ceramics, jewelry or woodcarving. North Light Dictionary of Art Terms

From Indo-European root ar-, meaning to fit together. American Heritage Dictionary.

(Note: isn't that a neat origin? -- Pam)

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

Exercise: Composition, seeing the shape of the negative spaces.

Any type of drawing media will work for this exercise. Try setting up a still life with clearly defined objects or locate a space in your house where there is a grouping of objects. Now, instead of drawing the objects, draw the space around the objects. Make it interesting. (Note: it, too, may contain objects and you can draw those, or it may be empty, in which case, just draw the outline. Does it change in value? Then use your pencil or charcoal or whatever to indicate the changes in value. But leave the OBJECTS blank. The purpose of this exercise is to increase your awareness of the negative space in a composition.)


Alternate: (if assigned by instructor)

If you did the color wheel last week using the following:

  • Cadmium Yellow Medium
  • Alizarin Crimson Madder
  • Thalo Blue

This color wheel can be done as an additional exercise. Notice that we talk about warm and cool colors as being on opposite sides of the wheel. This is a little bit arbitrary, because you can have a yellow, for instance, that is warm or cool in relationship to another yellow. The "warmer" yellow falls closer to the orange, the cooler closer to the blue. The colors used in doing this exercise were (from the very top and moving clockwise) cadmium red light (with burnt umber just in from that), Cad Orange (with Burnt Sienna moving towards the center), Hansa Deep (alternate, Cadmium Yellow deep), Cadmium Yellow Light, (with Yellow Ochre moving towards the neutral range), Cadmium Yellow Pale, Nickel Titanate (Lemon) (note: this color dries too slowly but it was the best "cool" yellow I had -- any "lemon" yellow should fall in this "cool" range), Sap Green (a warm, but transluscent green, good for glazing but not much mixing power), Permanent Green, Thalo Green (too strong, in my opinion -- dominates landscape paintings), Ceruleam Blue (a nice light light blue for skies, but you can get the same color by mixing Thalo blue with white), Thalo Blue, Cobalt Blue, Ultramarine Blue (a good "cool" blue -- don't make greens with this blue unless you want them to be dull!), Cobalt Violet - very pretty with white, Mars violet (moving in towards the middle (I actually think Mars Violet belongs on the warm side of the neutrals, but I was duplicating an exercise by Sovek), Permanent Mauve, Antraquinone Red (could also use Alizarin Crimson -- a color I prefer. Make sure you get "permanent" Alizarin Crimson.)

  While the concpets of cool and warm colors are relative, they are important to grasp.  

...now try mixing a black, a brown and a gray. Tip: the neutral colors are made by either mixing the three primary colors or mixing a color with its complementary color. Notice that in each pair of complementary colors, one is cool and one is warm. If more warm color is mixed, the neutral will be more brown, and if more cool color is mixed, the result will be more gray.

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Last updated: November 27, 2005