Category Archives: Artists

Learn to Draw in a Short Period of Time

Is it possible for someone to learn to draw in a short period of time? More specifically, can one learn to draw well in a matter of weeks?

Dr. Betty Edwards would say, without hesitation, yes.

Can a Book Quickly Teach Someone to Draw?

In the 1970‘s, Edwards authored a booked titled Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain. Since the book’s release in 1979, it has sold over 2.5 million copies. The book’s popularity is due largely to the fact that its exercises garner results that any aspiring artist craves: the quick acquisition of skills necessary to draw beautifully.

Targeting the Right Brain is Key in Picking up Artistic Skills

The theory behind Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain is simple: tapping into the right side of the brain via practicing certain exercises can increase a person’s ability to swiftly obtain the artistic skills required for drawing. Concerning the right/left brain theory, scientist and neurosurgeon Richard Bergland said, “…your left brain is your verbal and rational brain; it thinks serially and reduces its thoughts to numbers, letters and words… your right brain is your nonverbal and intuitive brain; it thinks in patterns, or pictures.”

Because the right brain thinks in patterns and pictures and is non-verbal, it makes sense that primarily using that side of the brain when learning to draw would increase the chances of successfully gaining artistic skills.

This Simple Exercise Can Help You Learn to Draw

Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain is packed with tools that target the right brain and teach drawing skills. Here is just one exercise that can help you begin your journey of learning to draw; the exercise is called “Breaking Up Space”:

  • Only draw vertical and horizontal lines
  • Do not think in terms of words
  • Relax
  • Draw at a slow to medium pace
  • If you run out of space just retrace the lines you have already drawn

This exercise “helps put the left side (of the brain) to sleep and exercises the right side.” It’s important not think in words while practicing this. Using this technique is a first step you can take to begin to get your right brain accustomed to being used somewhat independently of your left brain. This creates an ideal mental environment for learning to draw.

Besides her book, Dr. Edwards also offers other materials that foster right-brained learning of artistic skills. These resources include DVDs, workshops, and more.

Are you a natural when it comes to drawing? If not, have you always wanted to learn to draw? Has intimidation discouraged you from trying? Share with us in the comments box below.

Read more Segmation blog posts about art and color:

Gregg Visintainer Finds an Emotional Outlet in Drawing

Figure Drawing Tips

Tips for Improving your Landscape Drawing Skills

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Vision Problems Guide Artists

By looking at his paintings, you probably never guessed that Edgar Degard could not see well. However, the French realist painter was believed to have a congenital retinal problem. Similarly, Mary Cassatt and Claude Monet both had cataracts, which explain why the artists had trouble differentiating color later in life. And sketch artist Charles Méryon never toyed with color because he was well aware of his color-blindness.

Several artists have suffered from eye problems that pose obstacles to their chosen career paths. However, many artists leveraged their disabilities, using them as tools to guide their distinct style and career.

For instance, Peter Milton was diagnosed with color-blindness in 1962. This occurred after he spent years painting, teaching art, and studying under the master of color, Josef Albers. Upon receiving his diagnosis, Milton abandoned color; instead, he committed himself to the creation of black and white masterpieces. The absence of color did not void other creative elements of his artwork, though. Milton produced intricate works of art that are best described as “visual puzzles in which past and present seem to merge.”

Milton found a way to work around his eye problems while other artists did not. It has been reported that one in 10 men has color-blindness. A professor of ophthalmology at Stanford University, Michael Marmor, recognizes the challenge artists face when diagnosed with vision troubles. He tells NPR that “most artists who found out they were colorblind just switched to printmaking or sculpture.”

Some artists worked through their eye problems to create the art they loved and were known for. Claude Monet was quoted as saying, “At first I tried to be stubborn. How many times … have I stayed for hours under the harshest sun sitting on my campstool, in the shade of my parasol, forcing myself to resume my interrupted task and recapture the freshness that had disappeared from my palette! Wasted efforts.”

Throughout history, several artists approached vision troubles differently. Some worked through them, others looked past them, and many worked around their eye problems. Milton, who is a shining example of how to work around color-blindness, attributes his artistic style to his disability. “… It helps to have a disability,” he told NPR, “because when you can do anything, which of all the things you can do are you gonna choose? So something has to help you make the choice.”

Some of the world’s most well-known artwork has been produced by artists with vision problems. The pieces may seem to use askew color options or be void of color entirely, but to us, these color choices make the artwork appear distinct. And who knows, perhaps an artist accepted his or her disability and set out to create art in this authentic way.

Read more Segmation blog posts about art and color:

EnChroma Introduces Colorblind People to Color

The Gift of Color Vision

The Importance of Color Vision and Art

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Light Creates Space, Color, and Perception

Light Creates Space, Color, and PerceptionThe unique art of James Turrell infuses space with light. The artist makes entire rooms, museums, and even craters his canvases by transforming large areas into viewing experiences that manipulate how observers perceive their environments when natural and artificial lights alternate.

Turrell has been experimenting with light since 1966. He seems to be fascinated by the way light impacts how an individual understands space, perception, and even color. In relation, the American artist says this about the miraculous correlation:

“We teach the color wheel, but we really should speak about the light frequencies of each eye, and then the context of vision in which they reach the eye, because that’s how we perceive.”

This post explores James Turrell’s approach to art by briefly exploring how light manipulates space, how light changes perception, and the necessary relationship between light and art. At the conclusion, there are resources to inspire further exploration into this intricate subject.

Light Manipulates Space

Most people understand that light affects the way we see color and perceive the world around us. But is it comprehensible that light can manipulate space regardless of physical material? Turrell sets out to prove that a limited and definite space can be created without manmade parameters, like those set up with wood beams, steel rods, or concrete. This is because light itself creates space. When light stops so does vision. And when vision stops, so do the confines of a space. Turrell calls this, “using the eyes to penetrate the space.”

Light Changes Perception

This offers a little help in grasping how the absence or presence of light changes our perception of space. To further explain, Turrell points up. He says this earthly phenomenon is best understood by looking up to the atmosphere we experience every day.

In the light of the sun, it is impossible to see stars. However, as the sun goes down, an individual’s penetration of vision goes out, and the stars become evident again. Stars, which are constant in placement, are only visible lights when our eyes are able to perceive them as such. This can only happen when sunlight is mostly absent from our view.

Light and Art: A Relationship

Artists have always looked at the world with curious fascination and longing to use light as a means of creating space. This is why, when artists began using lights, shading, and perspective within paintings, the world marveled at how lifelike the images became. The reality is, like Turrell, artist have always seen what does not exist because they have brilliance all their own.

To read more about the effects of life on art, follow the works and study of James Turrell. Here are some helpful links to begin this exploration:

If you enjoyed this Segmation blog post, you are sure to love:

-The Importance of Color Vision and Art

https://segmation.wordpress.com/2011/11/30/paint-by-number-color-vision-effects-art-appreciation/

– Are Your Colors What They Seem to be?

https://segmation.wordpress.com/2010/10/02/are-your-colors-what-they-seem-to-be/

– The Benefits of Making Art Outside

https://segmation.wordpress.com/2010/05/22/the-benefits-of-making-art-outside/

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Norman Rockwell’s Artwork Inspired by the Christmas Holiday

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Christmas is a holiday that is special to hundreds of thousands of individuals around the world. This holiday is celebrated in many different countries with numerous traditions. Time with family, gifts under the Christmas tree, and contemplation of the important things in life are hallmarks of this wonderful time of year. What is your favorite aspect of Christmas?

Throughout history many artists have been inspired by the Christmas season to create seasonally themed works of art — Norman Rockwell is one of those individuals. Perhaps more so than any other American artist, Norman Rockwell truly was a master at capturing the spirit of Christmas in his art. As ABC news states it, “Norman Rockwell and the Christmas holiday had a deep and lasting relationship.”

Normal Rockwell was born in New York City on February 3, 1894. He was a student at the New York School of Art. Interestingly, Rockwell’s first commissioned art was for Christmas cards when he was only 15 years old. The Christmas card art was just the beginning of the American artist’s journey into holiday themed artwork.

An issue of the Saturday Evening Post that was released on December 25, 1948, featured one of Norman Rockwell’s famed Christmas pictures known as “Christmas Homecoming”.  The image displays over a dozen individuals standing in front of a Christmas tree; two of the people in the image are embracing enthusiastically. While there are “minimal references to Christmas” in this picture, the season is still somehow clearly represented.

Another of Rockwell’s Christmas themed pieces of art is titled “Stockbridge Main Street at Christmas”. The Unknownoilpainting was finished in 1967, 10 years after it was begun. It was painted for McCall’s magazine and displays a quaint, picturesque street that is lined by snow-covered automobiles, a church, and other buildings. This image is just another example of the amazing way Norman Rockwell captured the Christmas holiday in his artwork.

Make this Christmas season more memorable by creating your own seasonally themed works of art. Segmation offers a SegPlayPC Christmas pattern “paint-by-numbers” collection that makes it easy and fast to uniquely celebrate your favorite time of year. Learn more about Segmation’s Christmas pattern collection by visiting http://www.segmation.com/products_pc_patternsets.asp#CHR

Sources:

http://www.arthistory.net/artists/normanrockwell/normanrockwell1.html

http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/slideshow?id=9321605

Coming soon: Thinking about re-painting the exterior of your home? If so, you won’t want to miss our next post!

If you loved this Segmation blog post, you’ll really enjoy:

  •  Thanksgiving Holiday Inspires Artwork

https://segmation.wordpress.com/2012/11/12/thanksgiving-holiday-inspires-art-work/

  • Museum Curator Elevates Prestige of Paint by Number Art

https://segmation.wordpress.com/2012/12/07/museum-curator-elevates-prestige-paint-by-number-art/

  • Beautiful Moonglow

https://segmation.wordpress.com/2012/11/08/beautiful-moonglow/

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Childhood Stories of Paint by Number

Do you recall your favorite childhood pastime? For many people, art making was perhaps their most loved activity. Some individuals have fond memories of drawing, molding play dough, and finger painting. More specifically, creating amazing paintings using paint by number kits ranks high on the list of favorite childhood activities for scores of people. Are you one of those individuals who has cherished memories of paint by number?

Amy, a woman from Indianapolis, holds her paint by number recollections close to her heart. She remembers growing up admiring two paintings of beautiful women that were displayed in her bedroom. “I remember staring at them so often and dreaming about their lives,” Amy commented. When she was older, Amy discovered that her mother had painted those pictures using paint by number kits. Though she was not as talented at paint by number as her mother, Amy still treasured those paintings that brought joy and life to her imagination.

Audrey, an individual who grew up in a farmhouse in Minnesota, recalls sitting at her kitchen table while painting ballerinas as a child. Audrey admitted that she is not necessarily an artist, but said that paint by number gave her the opportunity to become one. Her experience with paint by number was unforgettable as it allowed her to “escape into the world” of the ballerinas she painted. Audrey is grateful to have these priceless memories.

Another childhood paint by number artist, Karen, remembers with love the time her parents gifted her with a paint by number kit, the theme of which was covered bridges. Karen noted that the covered bridges she painted were only recognizable from a distance. In her own words, this was her “first awareness of how Impressionist paintings were made.”

How much do you enjoy paint by number and Segmation? Whether you love being a perfect painter, great digital artist, or have fond childhood memories of coloring inside the lines, your experience is unique. We want to hear your story in the comment section below. What does paint by number mean to you?

Sources:

Retrorenovation.com

mnpraireroots.wordpress.com

childrensmuseum.org

Coming soon: Read Segmation’s exciting article on how to easily make your own paint by number pillow. You won’t want to miss it!

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When Art is Represented On Stage

It is a beautiful thing when different forms of art collide. Dance and music create a wonderful combination, as do writing and graphic arts. Various art types compliment one another, and in some cases even depend on one another if full expression is to be had. But one combination that seems unlikely is theatre and 16th Century Italian art – there’s a mix you don’t hear about everyday.

Two individuals recently wrote a play called Divine Rivalry that integrates 16th Century Italian art into theatre. Divine Rivalry has a storyline that is true to its name, being about an “artistic duel” between Michelangelo Buonarroti and Leonardo Da Vinci, two giants of the art world. Who in the play is responsible for this rivalry? None other than Niccolo Machiavelli. While the plot of Divine Rivalry sure sounds far-fetched, here is an interesting fact: it is based on true happenings.

1505 was the year that the painting duel actually happened between Michelangelo and Da Vinci, an idea that Machiavelli did indeed conceive of. What prompted Machiavelli to initiate this scenario? Probably the fact that Italy wanted to set itself apart from other countries around the year 1505. This is understandable when you consider that Spain boasted the recent finding of the New World during that time. Machiavelli thought that having two murals created to depict Italy’s “artistic brilliance and military prowess” would help raise and solidify the status of the country. Thus, the idea of having two famous artists paint together yet against one another was born.

While Da Vinci and Michelangelo were both commissioned to paint specific murals, neither artist finished the job assigned. It wasn’t until the 1560’s that the murals were painted over by another artist, Giorgio Vasari.

The individuals who penned Divine Rivalry, Michael Kramer and D.S. Moynihan, were excited to present this production to the public beginning in 2011 in Connecticut at the Hartford Stage. Moynihan commented that she had not encountered anyone who was familiar with the “paint-off” of 1505. Kramer admitted that he was thrilled to have done two years of research for the play. All in all, Divine Rivalry was a notch in the belts of Moynihan and Kramer. The success of Divine Rivalry proves that great things can happen when art is represented on stage.

http://www.nctimes.com/entertainment/arts-and-theatre/theatre/theater-feature-art-history-and-mystery-unite-in-globe-s/article_60fcb80d-e3c8-5bbc-81ca-f6d2aef013ad.html

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Thomas Kinkade: The “Painter of Light”

Thomas Kinkade, popularly known as the “Painter of Light,” passed away in his sleep at the age of 54. His inspirational work touched the lives of many and will continue to live on.

Blessed with an ability to capture a moment in time, Kinkade preserved some of the most beautiful scenes of life in his paintings. Those who admire his work know that each of his paintings offer an escape from reality.

His idyllic settings, infused with radiant light, include nature scenes; gardens and seascapes, as well as nostalgic homes, cottages and cityscapes. He painted a classic America; one that many dream of and long for. Kinkade’s paintings depict the world that many people wanted to be part of – picture perfect in every way.

The painter once said, “My mission as an artist is to capture those special moments in life adorned with beauty and light. I work to create images that project a serene simplicity that can be appreciated and enjoyed by everyone.” He painted for the people, not for the critics.

Even those unfamiliar with Kinkade’s paintings can see that his work tells a story. The champions and collectors of Kinkade’s endeavors know there is more than meets the eye in each painting. For instance, the “Painter of Light” always included his wife’s initials. He also inserted his very first hero, Norman Rockwell, into many of his pieces. If you spot the boy working his paper rout on a bicycle in “Hometown Morning”, then you have discovered Kinkade himself, preserved in the moment he met his beloved wife Nanette.

Much of the inspiration for his art was fueled by his faith. Despite a less than ideal childhood, Kinkade always clung to his art. By the age of sixteen, he had become an accomplished painter. He studied at the University of California at Berkley and then worked as an artist for films.

Many people credit his time spent working on films as the experience that enabled him to grasp the effects of light, which he transferred to his painting. All of his paintings include a warm, radiant and comforting light that calls one back to a simpler time.

Thomas Kinkade’s life mission, to make art available to everyone that they might enjoy beauty, is still a reality. Though the talented and generous man is gone, he lives on through his paintings. Millions of people will still stand looking at his paintings, caught for a moment in the comforting and inspiring worlds he created.

http://www.artbythomaskinkade.com/thomas_kinkade.html

http://www.thomaskinkade.com/magi/servlet/com.asucon.ebiz.biography.web.tk.BiographyServlet

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