Visiting art museums can be both fun and daunting. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, for example, contains over 2 million square feet of exhibition space – now that’s a lot of art! With room upon room filled with treasures from various civilizations, a visit to a major museum such as the Met is certainly an eye-opening, educational experience… but it can also be exhausting. Almost against your will, you’ll find that after awhile, your mind shuts down as you stare blankly at artwork after artwork.
Follow these tips to avoid that zombie-like state and glean the most from your visit to an art museum:
- Study the museum map before you enter to familiarize yourself with everything the museum has to offer, then plan out a logical route that takes you through everything you want to see.
- Don’t try to see everything at once. Prioritize your visit by planning to see the artwork you’re most interested in at the beginning of your museum visit, while your mind is still fresh.
- Read the placards that explain what each exhibit and artwork is about. If you start to get burned out after awhile, don’t try to retain all the information. Just let your eyes skim over the information and absorb the key information. Look for artist, time period, medium, and location, if applicable.
- Linger awhile in front of the pieces that most interest you, and contemplate why you like that particular piece. It is better to spend time examining the artwork you really enjoy, rather than to rush through rooms full of art that you really don’t care about.
- If photographs are allowed, take photos of the pieces that most interest you. You should also photograph the title card of the piece, so that you can research the artist and artwork later.
- Carry a sketchbook with you to jot down notes, ideas, impressions, and sketches of artwork that catches your eye. If photographs are not allowed, a sketchbook can be a useful substitute.
- If you need a break, sit down in the museum cafe and rest your eyes for awhile. Fresh air can help if you’re feeling burned out, but if you leave the museum to step outside, make sure it is okay for you to re-enter without having to pay the entry fee again.
Follow these tips and your next trip to an art museum will leave you happily saturated with creative inspiration!
Be a Artist in 2 minutes with Segmation SegPlay® PC (see more details here)
The human figure is one of the hardest things to draw accurately. When drawing a human figure, you need to be aware of technical issues such as proportions, shading and foreshortening, but you must also be able to portray the figure with emotion and sensitivity. Even if your figure drawing isn’t 100% accurate in terms of resembling real life, a drawing imbued with creative energy can create a powerful effect upon the viewer.
To better study and render the human figure, Renaissance artists dissected and studied corpses, taking detailed notes and making realistic drawings from their anatomical observations. Learning about the structure of muscles and other internal organs helped Renaissance artists create more precise artwork. These days, you don’t need to visit a morgue to brush up on your figure drawing skills. Ample books and websites focus on drawing the human form, providing countless illustrations of body parts, both externally and internally.
Figure drawing classes are invaluable for enhancing your ability to draw the human form. Most community art centers offer figure drawing classes with instructors who can critique your artwork and give you pointers. Most figure drawing classes are conducted with live nude models, which may come as a shock for people who have never been to one before, but this is standard. Drawing the nude figure helps artists gain a better grasp of the human body and how it looks in various positions.
If you are unable to attend a drawing class, you can search for free reference photos online. Many “artist community” websites offer a bank of free reference images that you can use without worrying about copyright or obtaining a model release. For specific poses, expressions or costumes, you’ll need to take your own reference photos. Hire a model or bribe a friend to do the posing for you.
If you want to draw a person is a specific pose but you do not have a model and can’t find the right reference photo, use a poseable mannequin, such as the one shown above. The poseable mannequin will give you a general idea of where to place the various body parts, but you’ll have to “invent the details”, such as facial features, clothing, etc. For this reason, a wooden mannequin is usually more ideal for gesture drawing, rather than a figure drawing that needs to be true to life.
In a previous blog post, we discussed the benefits of making your own paints, rather than buying commercially-made paints from art supply stores. Two of the most appealing reasons for making your own paints include the ability to control the color and the quantity of the paint that you make. In today’s blog post, we’ll take a more in-depth look at how you can make your own oil paints using just a few simple supplies.
The two main ingredients you’ll need for making your own oil paints are powdered pigment and an oil, such as linseed oil (which most oil painters usually have on hand anyway). The tools you’ll need to mix the ingredients can either be a mortar and pestle (shown above), or a sturdy spatula and a flat glass surface. The mortar and pestle is the preferred choice because it will allow you to grind the pigment into finer particles.
To make your own oil paint, place your desired amount of pigment onto the glass surface or into the mortar. Add a small amount of oil and grind together the pigment and the oil using your pestle or spatula. Be sure to start off with a small amount of oil, because you don’t want your mixture to be too runny.
As the pigment absorbs the oil, note the consistency. If the mixture looks too dry, add more oil. If it is too oily, add more pigment. Your goal is to create a mixture that resembles the consistency of toothpaste.
Once the pigment and oil are thoroughly mixed, then you are ready to paint! The process is as simple as that. Your homemade oil paint can be mixed with commercially-made oil paints, and it may be stored in tubes or airtight jars for future use. segmation dot com.
Lois Ostrov Pattern Set for SegPlay® PC (see more details here)
A beautiful collection of 22 tropical and abstract artworks by Lois Ostrov, an award winning water color and water media artist living in the Miami, Florida area. You’ll find oranges, sailboats, hibiscus and poppy flowers as well as a lighthouse, and toucan in this warm blend of South Floridian themed collection.
Lois Ostrov, originally from Ohio, taught for 25 years before choosing South Florida as the physical place to further develop her art.
Curious about textiles, her first fine art medium, she began to research other techniques of the fine arts. Ostrov found that painting, with collage added, provides the greatest opportunity to express ideas and thoughts in a personal and creative way.
As an artist, selection of colors and mediums depends on the atmosphere and surroundings of the places to choose to paint. Paint in a series. The colors, forms, and textures depicted in each series are quite different. The spirituality one feels about a place is an integral part and helps develop a personal relationship with the environment when painting.
Vision for work is acquired from photo references taken on locations from around the world. The right blend of photographs enhances feelings about a place and allows the construction of a perfect painting!
Ostrov invites the viewer to enjoy, analyze, and question her work.
Ostrov paintings have won awards and placed in juried shows including: Art Serve Broward County, Artists’ Eye Fine Art Gallery, Art Expressions Gallery Artists Haven Gallery, Broward Art Guild, Broward Library Gallery 6, Coral Springs Museum, Cornell Museum of Art, Delray Museum Art School, Florida Watercolor Society (Signature Membership), Fort Lauderdale Museum of Art, Gold Coast Watercolor Society, Hollywood Art Guild, Miami Watercolor Society (Signature Membership), Palm Beach Watercolor Society, Parker Playhouse, Plantation Art Guild and in private and commercial collections.
In the Press: April 2006 Edition of Palette Magazine, April, 2006– Edition of Watercolor Magic , August, 2003–City Link, December, 2002–City Link