|Studying Richard McKinley's book: 'The Landscape Paintings of Richard McKinley'|
Every serious artist that I know spends time looking at other artists' work, studying technique, composition and design and trying new things. Lately, I've undertaken a study of composition, based on what I've learned from Ian Roberts' book 'Mastering Composition'. It's one of my all time favorite art instruction books and I keep coming back to it.
One of Ian's suggestions is to study a piece and do a little composition sketch of what's going on in it. I've been studying dozens of artists and looking at hundreds of paintings, doing these little sketches of the paintings I like best.
In the pic above you can see my little sketch of a piece by Richard McKinley in red sharpie on the top left. This page also happened to give Richard's own working sketches as well.
As I do this, over and over and over, to paintings that are pleasing to me, I am seeing patterns that help me think about my own work. Since I am able to abstract a visual pattern, I can then plug in the subjects that I am interested in painting, knowing that the structure under the whole thing is a visually pleasing one.
Here's an example of how I use these. This is a painting by Geoff Kersey. My sketch is to the right [red sharpie].
|painting: Geoff Kersey|
I can take that same basic structure and put my own spin on it, like I did in this practice piece I did for #paintrainforAustralia [Instagram].
|© Robin Edmundson, 'Paint Rain for Australia', 9 x 12 inches.|
I'm hoping that this intensive study of composition will allow me to really internalize this skill so that it is unconscious. If I'm not worrying about composition, then I can focus on technique or color or subject or something else.
What new skill have you been studying lately?