Art instruction: meaningful and useful tools for your creative freedom

art instruction

Art instruction is a way to find out how one is able to make creativity, drawing, sketching and painting part of their lives and self-care.

I received recently a lot of positive comments about my art classes. Parents admitted that the art instruction which is available in our region (Ontario, Whitby, Oshawa, Ajax) does not actually include learning how to draw or paint for real. That especially referred to art classes for teens. They told most art classes were rather craft classes that deal with glue, markers, inks, papers, mixed media topped on each other, and so on. Basically, they were looking for somebody who has the skill of drawing, sketching and painting and is able to present this skill to others. So they were very happy to find me.

Is that a surprise? It actually isn’t when we take into account the dramatically shortening attention span due to the overuse of devices, lack of commitment due to the inability to prioritize important things in our life and fake positive reviews of entertaining art events like paint nights. While some people who have no art creation experience would assume that entertaining art events with cocktails and food are art classes, as strange as it sounds, I must admit that they simply cannot be by their nature because they won’t teach anybody anything.

We have arrived at very misleading art instruction models. Most of them are designed to please the participant and to make believe that they are gaining a lot.

One of my 12-year-old students literally nailed it during the last watercolor class: most people are interested only in the final products and they have no interest or patience to learn about the process of getting to this final product.

Indeed, we are seeing this frequently. Due to the fact that potential students are made to believe they will learn something about drawing and painting while actually not learning anything, many venues that offer art classes are trying to go the way of the least resistance: they offer paper or canvas with drawing on it, so that the student has to only apply paint as instructed on these surfaces. Most events are a few hours a single night or one day only because everybody is in a big rush. Is it possible to master everything within such a small time frame? No, it isn’t. Alone brushing techniques take months to practice and manage, not to mention that colors, values and composition matter. We always place something in the painting on a certain spot, not where happens, but where it makes sense. Our task is to find out how to detect this spot.

While most people who sketch or paint somewhat representative scenes and subjects implement roads, buildings, fences, water streams, paths, tree lines and distance, only a few are aware that this is done by using linear perspective to which we are adding atmospheric or chromatic perspective to achieve impact and give our image power.

If we want to make art instruction meaningful again and if we want people to really fall in love with creativity and hand-made art, we have to go the long and more difficult way. We have to allow teens and adults who want to learn to do so. Having the final product or masterwork done in just a few hours is an illusion. Nevertheless, there are lots of people who believe in that. Final product or masterwork cannot be the only goal. What matters in this case is the journey to the final product, the multiple techniques and approaches, the enjoyable path to self-discovery, satisfaction and feeling of fulfillment.

So, I received nice compliments about my art instruction because nobody else actually bothers with teaching potential students the understanding of main drawing and painting principles in this area.

Our recent project: progress

I also wanted to make an art class which is impossible to replicate online: just because the content of this class rests on the presence and the interaction between me, group and everybody as an individual.

art instruction: sketching and watercolor

Therefore, I am proud that my drawing, sketching and painting classes provide teens and adults with a meaningful art instruction that ensures one has tools to enjoy a creative freedom and is able to draw, sketch and paint anything they want and the way they would like to. I believe that is different and that works in favor of a student.

Please see also: https://inesepogagallery.com/2017/10/02/art-created-different-dimension/

And if you live in Ontario, you can apply for my art classes directly here:  https://inesepogagallery.com/classes-workshops-schedule/

Art instruction: online versus real, myths versus reality

Art instruction can be found in abundance everywhere: there are numerous online classes, numerous websites that will give an idea of that and also countless real life events. 100% of students who attend my art classes have been watching YouTube art instruction videos, demos and suggestions. One would think they have learned a lot. In fact, it isn’t the case. Most people after spending a lot of time with online art instruction videos haven’t learned anything. That sounds strange, but it is a fact. Most people who have been watching YouTube tutorials and demos do not know how to use the brush with acrylic, how to blend paint and how to make the correct color they want. Most people who were learning drawing and watercolor painting using online video tutorials are afraid of water; they do not know how to apply watercolor paint, how much water to use, how to time the painting process and how to avoid muddy colors. Most people, who were learning how to draw online, cannot draw anything on their own or using real things and their set-up compositions. They can only trace a photo or use an outline printout for their drawing. Why would that be? Why haven’t they become skilled after spending numerous hours at the screen? The reason might be the one-sidedness. If one has a lot of artistic experience and knowledge of paint application techniques and understanding of paint properties, they will benefit from such online art instruction videos. These, who have zero experience, most likely will not. I believe these art instruction videos are good for inspiration and issue solving if you have plenty of painting and drawing experience. If you do not have such experience, you will rather get confused and disappointed. In real and live class, I can see how somebody understood the demo or painting tip. You’d be surprised seeing what levels of moisture are applied when I am saying: make your paper wet. That ranges from flooded paper with puddles of water to slightly seeing shine on it. Graded wash is understood in very different ways: from thick layer of paint to no paint at all. Not to mention a wet paint application on wet paper and a dry paint application on wet or dry paper. Timing is a very important part of painting with either watercolor, or acrylic. By not observing timing and making good use of it, the potential artist will definitely get frustrated. There are things which are easy to do when the timing is right and impossible to do at all if the timing is wrong. When you are sitting on one side of screen, nobody can check or see how exactly you are applying advice or tip. In a real life class, I can see right away whether the paint is too wet, too dry, there is too little of it or there is way too much of it. I can see right away who understood the technique and who is struggling with it. I am able to notice the weaknesses and the strengths right away, as well. Brushing techniques are probably the most important part of acrylic painting. Most people have absolutely no idea about these techniques. It is understood that it does not matter how you put the acrylic paint on canvas. Well, that makes the painting experience either pleasant, or results in frustration when one cannot achieve what they want to. Most people do not know how wet and how dry watercolor paint should be, and I have seen how some would try applying it without any water at all. Sounds crazy? Yes, it is weird because we call it watercolor since it can be used only with water. Pigment in watercolor paint is activated using water, otherwise it won’t work. Without doing this properly, there is no watercolor painting, but we create a streaky smear. There is a principle which is always true when it comes to art supplies: the better quality art supplies are, the easier it is to apply them; and vice versa: the worse quality art supplies are, the more skills one will need to use them properly and to achieve good results. While many art instruction demos and videos are called “How to paint ….” they should be called, in fact, “How I paint ….” because there are lots of ways to interpret one and the same subject and one and the same theme. Many of demos also instead of “How to paint …” fall in the category “How not to paint …”. That’s just how wrong the demo or art instruction advice can be. With the wide-spread accessibility of internet and opportunity to share and post anything, we cannot be always sure if the advice we are given is correct or if it will ever work for us in particular. We have to approach everything selectively. That refers not only to art instruction, but also to any advice for any situation in life. We have seen by now how art instruction is given by people who do not have the slightest teaching or art experience, as well. Art instruction has become an area where everybody is an expert. Would anybody teach and give music lessons? Piano or guitar lessons, for instance? No, they would not. Would anybody without any knowledge and skill teach foreign language, math or chemistry? No, they would not because that means misleading the student and pretending that one has what they do not. When it comes to drawing and painting, it is assumed that having no experience is not an issue. Just teach it and everything will be fine, which is profoundly wrong. I would say if you want to see fast results and create a decent and interesting art, you definitely have to start with real and live art instruction. Let the art instructor see how and what you are doing because that is the only way to find out why some things absolutely do not work and what you should be doing to make this experience rewarding and uplifting. Realistically, the things one needs to learn are the main principles of drawing and painting, not the style and techniques of artist X, Y or Z. The truth is that once you have learned the basics and have established the foundation you will be able to create anything, draw and paint anything in your personal style and to develop a personal approach to any subject. That won’t limit you to just being able to paint one particular scene and subject. It will feel like: I can draw and paint any scene, any still life and floral composition. I can draw and paint anything. That’s why starting with techniques, values, color theory and composition is important. Practically, that means finding out what your brush, paint and pencil can do once you know how to use them. Therefore, I would suggest, we start with basics and go from simple subjects to very complex ones. Along with becoming skilled in art, drawing and painting are the absolutely best things to devote our free time and leisure hours to. This means also exploring ourselves, becoming smarter, better with decision making and invisibly growing new brain cells, as well, extending the lifetime of the existing brain cells. That means a better memory and an improved cognitive function.

Art instruction can be found in abundance everywhere: there are numerous online classes, numerous websites that will give an idea of that and also countless real life events.

100% of students who attend my art classes have been watching YouTube art instruction videos, demos and suggestions. One would think they have learned a lot. In fact, it isn’t the case.

Most people after spending a lot of time with online art instruction videos haven’t learned anything. That sounds strange, but it is a fact. Most people who have been watching YouTube tutorials and demos do not know how to use the brush with acrylic, how to blend paint and how to make the correct color they want. Most people who were learning drawing and watercolor painting using online video tutorials are afraid of water; they do not know how to apply watercolor paint, how much water to use, how to time the painting process and how to avoid muddy colors.  Most people, who were learning how to draw online, cannot draw anything on their own or using real things and their set-up compositions. They can only trace a photo or use an outline printout for their drawing.

Why would that be? Why haven’t they become skilled after spending numerous hours at the screen?

The reason might be the one-sidedness. If one has a lot of artistic experience and knowledge of paint application techniques and understanding of paint properties, they will benefit from such online art instruction videos. These, who have zero experience, most likely will not. I believe these art instruction videos are good for inspiration and issue solving if you have plenty of painting and drawing experience. If you do not have such experience, you will rather get confused and disappointed. In real and live class, I can see how somebody understood the demo or painting tip. You’d be surprised seeing what levels of moisture are applied when I am saying: make your paper wet. That ranges from flooded paper with puddles of water to slightly seeing shine on it. Graded wash is understood in very different ways: from thick layer of paint to no paint at all. Not to mention a wet paint application on wet paper and a dry paint application on wet or dry paper. Timing is a very important part of painting with either watercolor, or acrylic. By not observing timing and making good use of it, the potential artist will definitely get frustrated. There are things which are easy to do when the timing is right and impossible to do at all if the timing is wrong.

When you are sitting on one side of screen, nobody can check or see how exactly you are applying advice or tip. In a real life class, I can see right away whether the paint is too wet, too dry, there is too little of it or there is way too much of it. I can see right away who understood the technique and who is struggling with it. I am able to notice the weaknesses and the strengths right away, as well.

Brushing techniques are probably the most important part of acrylic painting. Most people have absolutely no idea about these techniques. It is understood that it does not matter how you put the acrylic paint on canvas. Well, that makes the painting experience either pleasant, or results in frustration when one cannot achieve what they want to.

Art instruction can be found in abundance everywhere: there are numerous online classes, numerous websites that will give an idea of that and also countless real life events. 100% of students who attend my art classes have been watching YouTube art instruction videos, demos and suggestions. One would think they have learned a lot. In fact, it isn’t the case. Most people after spending a lot of time with online art instruction videos haven’t learned anything. That sounds strange, but it is a fact. Most people who have been watching YouTube tutorials and demos do not know how to use the brush with acrylic, how to blend paint and how to make the correct color they want. Most people who were learning drawing and watercolor painting using online video tutorials are afraid of water; they do not know how to apply watercolor paint, how much water to use, how to time the painting process and how to avoid muddy colors. Most people, who were learning how to draw online, cannot draw anything on their own or using real things and their set-up compositions. They can only trace a photo or use an outline printout for their drawing. Why would that be? Why haven’t they become skilled after spending numerous hours at the screen? The reason might be the one-sidedness. If one has a lot of artistic experience and knowledge of paint application techniques and understanding of paint properties, they will benefit from such online art instruction videos. These, who have zero experience, most likely will not. I believe these art instruction videos are good for inspiration and issue solving if you have plenty of painting and drawing experience. If you do not have such experience, you will rather get confused and disappointed. In real and live class, I can see how somebody understood the demo or painting tip. You’d be surprised seeing what levels of moisture are applied when I am saying: make your paper wet. That ranges from flooded paper with puddles of water to slightly seeing shine on it. Graded wash is understood in very different ways: from thick layer of paint to no paint at all. Not to mention a wet paint application on wet paper and a dry paint application on wet or dry paper. Timing is a very important part of painting with either watercolor, or acrylic. By not observing timing and making good use of it, the potential artist will definitely get frustrated. There are things which are easy to do when the timing is right and impossible to do at all if the timing is wrong. When you are sitting on one side of screen, nobody can check or see how exactly you are applying advice or tip. In a real life class, I can see right away whether the paint is too wet, too dry, there is too little of it or there is way too much of it. I can see right away who understood the technique and who is struggling with it. I am able to notice the weaknesses and the strengths right away, as well. Brushing techniques are probably the most important part of acrylic painting. Most people have absolutely no idea about these techniques. It is understood that it does not matter how you put the acrylic paint on canvas. Well, that makes the painting experience either pleasant, or results in frustration when one cannot achieve what they want to. Most people do not know how wet and how dry watercolor paint should be, and I have seen how some would try applying it without any water at all. Sounds crazy? Yes, it is weird because we call it watercolor since it can be used only with water. Pigment in watercolor paint is activated using water, otherwise it won’t work. Without doing this properly, there is no watercolor painting, but we create a streaky smear. There is a principle which is always true when it comes to art supplies: the better quality art supplies are, the easier it is to apply them; and vice versa: the worse quality art supplies are, the more skills one will need to use them properly and to achieve good results. While many art instruction demos and videos are called “How to paint ….” they should be called, in fact, “How I paint ….” because there are lots of ways to interpret one and the same subject and one and the same theme. Many of demos also instead of “How to paint …” fall in the category “How not to paint …”. That’s just how wrong the demo or art instruction advice can be. With the wide-spread accessibility of internet and opportunity to share and post anything, we cannot be always sure if the advice we are given is correct or if it will ever work for us in particular. We have to approach everything selectively. That refers not only to art instruction, but also to any advice for any situation in life. We have seen by now how art instruction is given by people who do not have the slightest teaching or art experience, as well. Art instruction has become an area where everybody is an expert. Would anybody teach and give music lessons? Piano or guitar lessons, for instance? No, they would not. Would anybody without any knowledge and skill teach foreign language, math or chemistry? No, they would not because that means misleading the student and pretending that one has what they do not. When it comes to drawing and painting, it is assumed that having no experience is not an issue. Just teach it and everything will be fine, which is profoundly wrong. I would say if you want to see fast results and create a decent and interesting art, you definitely have to start with real and live art instruction. Let the art instructor see how and what you are doing because that is the only way to find out why some things absolutely do not work and what you should be doing to make this experience rewarding and uplifting. Realistically, the things one needs to learn are the main principles of drawing and painting, not the style and techniques of artist X, Y or Z. The truth is that once you have learned the basics and have established the foundation you will be able to create anything, draw and paint anything in your personal style and to develop a personal approach to any subject. That won’t limit you to just being able to paint one particular scene and subject. It will feel like: I can draw and paint any scene, any still life and floral composition. I can draw and paint anything. That’s why starting with techniques, values, color theory and composition is important. Practically, that means finding out what your brush, paint and pencil can do once you know how to use them. Therefore, I would suggest, we start with basics and go from simple subjects to very complex ones. Along with becoming skilled in art, drawing and painting are the absolutely best things to devote our free time and leisure hours to. This means also exploring ourselves, becoming smarter, better with decision making and invisibly growing new brain cells, as well, extending the lifetime of the existing brain cells. That means a better memory and an improved cognitive function.

Most people do not know how wet and how dry watercolor paint should be, and I have seen how some would try applying it without any water at all. Sounds crazy? Yes, it is weird because we call it watercolor since it can be used only with water. Pigment in watercolor paint is activated using water, otherwise it won’t work. Without doing this properly, there is no watercolor painting, but we create a streaky smear.

There is a principle which is always true when it comes to art supplies: the better quality art supplies are, the easier it is to apply them; and vice versa: the worse quality art supplies are, the more skills one will need to use them properly and to achieve good results.

While many art instruction demos and videos are called “How to paint ….” they should be called, in fact, “How I paint ….” because there are lots of ways to interpret one and the same subject and one and the same theme. Many of demos also instead of “How to paint …” fall in the category “How not to paint …”. That’s just how wrong the demo or art instruction advice can be. With the wide-spread accessibility of internet and opportunity to share and post anything, we cannot be always sure if the advice we are given is correct or if it will ever work for us in particular. We have to approach everything selectively. That refers not only to art instruction, but also to any advice for any situation in life.

We have seen by now how art instruction is given by people who do not have the slightest teaching or art experience, as well. Art instruction has become an area where everybody is an expert. Would anybody teach and give music lessons? Piano or guitar lessons, for instance? No, they would not. Would anybody without any knowledge and skill teach foreign language, math or chemistry? No, they would not because that means misleading the student and pretending that one has what they do not. When it comes to drawing and painting, it is assumed that having no experience is not an issue. Just teach it and everything will be fine, which is profoundly wrong.

I would say if you want to see fast results and create a decent and interesting art, you definitely have to start with real and live art instruction. Let the art instructor see how and what you are doing because that is the only way to find out why some things absolutely do not work and what you should be doing to make this experience rewarding and uplifting.

Realistically, the things one needs to learn are the main principles of drawing and painting, not the style and techniques of artist X, Y or Z. The truth is that once you have learned the basics and have established the foundation you will be able to create anything, draw and paint anything in your personal style and to develop a personal approach to any subject. That won’t limit you to just being able to paint one particular scene and subject. It will feel like: I can draw and paint any scene, any still life and floral composition. I can draw and paint anything. That’s why starting with techniques, values, color theory and composition is important. Practically, that means finding out what your brush, paint and pencil can do once you know how to use them.

Art instruction can be found in abundance everywhere: there are numerous online classes, numerous websites that will give an idea of that and also countless real life events. 100% of students who attend my art classes have been watching YouTube art instruction videos, demos and suggestions. One would think they have learned a lot. In fact, it isn’t the case. Most people after spending a lot of time with online art instruction videos haven’t learned anything. That sounds strange, but it is a fact. Most people who have been watching YouTube tutorials and demos do not know how to use the brush with acrylic, how to blend paint and how to make the correct color they want. Most people who were learning drawing and watercolor painting using online video tutorials are afraid of water; they do not know how to apply watercolor paint, how much water to use, how to time the painting process and how to avoid muddy colors. Most people, who were learning how to draw online, cannot draw anything on their own or using real things and their set-up compositions. They can only trace a photo or use an outline printout for their drawing. Why would that be? Why haven’t they become skilled after spending numerous hours at the screen? The reason might be the one-sidedness. If one has a lot of artistic experience and knowledge of paint application techniques and understanding of paint properties, they will benefit from such online art instruction videos. These, who have zero experience, most likely will not. I believe these art instruction videos are good for inspiration and issue solving if you have plenty of painting and drawing experience. If you do not have such experience, you will rather get confused and disappointed. In real and live class, I can see how somebody understood the demo or painting tip. You’d be surprised seeing what levels of moisture are applied when I am saying: make your paper wet. That ranges from flooded paper with puddles of water to slightly seeing shine on it. Graded wash is understood in very different ways: from thick layer of paint to no paint at all. Not to mention a wet paint application on wet paper and a dry paint application on wet or dry paper. Timing is a very important part of painting with either watercolor, or acrylic. By not observing timing and making good use of it, the potential artist will definitely get frustrated. There are things which are easy to do when the timing is right and impossible to do at all if the timing is wrong. When you are sitting on one side of screen, nobody can check or see how exactly you are applying advice or tip. In a real life class, I can see right away whether the paint is too wet, too dry, there is too little of it or there is way too much of it. I can see right away who understood the technique and who is struggling with it. I am able to notice the weaknesses and the strengths right away, as well. Brushing techniques are probably the most important part of acrylic painting. Most people have absolutely no idea about these techniques. It is understood that it does not matter how you put the acrylic paint on canvas. Well, that makes the painting experience either pleasant, or results in frustration when one cannot achieve what they want to. Most people do not know how wet and how dry watercolor paint should be, and I have seen how some would try applying it without any water at all. Sounds crazy? Yes, it is weird because we call it watercolor since it can be used only with water. Pigment in watercolor paint is activated using water, otherwise it won’t work. Without doing this properly, there is no watercolor painting, but we create a streaky smear. There is a principle which is always true when it comes to art supplies: the better quality art supplies are, the easier it is to apply them; and vice versa: the worse quality art supplies are, the more skills one will need to use them properly and to achieve good results. While many art instruction demos and videos are called “How to paint ….” they should be called, in fact, “How I paint ….” because there are lots of ways to interpret one and the same subject and one and the same theme. Many of demos also instead of “How to paint …” fall in the category “How not to paint …”. That’s just how wrong the demo or art instruction advice can be. With the wide-spread accessibility of internet and opportunity to share and post anything, we cannot be always sure if the advice we are given is correct or if it will ever work for us in particular. We have to approach everything selectively. That refers not only to art instruction, but also to any advice for any situation in life. We have seen by now how art instruction is given by people who do not have the slightest teaching or art experience, as well. Art instruction has become an area where everybody is an expert. Would anybody teach and give music lessons? Piano or guitar lessons, for instance? No, they would not. Would anybody without any knowledge and skill teach foreign language, math or chemistry? No, they would not because that means misleading the student and pretending that one has what they do not. When it comes to drawing and painting, it is assumed that having no experience is not an issue. Just teach it and everything will be fine, which is profoundly wrong. I would say if you want to see fast results and create a decent and interesting art, you definitely have to start with real and live art instruction. Let the art instructor see how and what you are doing because that is the only way to find out why some things absolutely do not work and what you should be doing to make this experience rewarding and uplifting. Realistically, the things one needs to learn are the main principles of drawing and painting, not the style and techniques of artist X, Y or Z. The truth is that once you have learned the basics and have established the foundation you will be able to create anything, draw and paint anything in your personal style and to develop a personal approach to any subject. That won’t limit you to just being able to paint one particular scene and subject. It will feel like: I can draw and paint any scene, any still life and floral composition. I can draw and paint anything. That’s why starting with techniques, values, color theory and composition is important. Practically, that means finding out what your brush, paint and pencil can do once you know how to use them. Therefore, I would suggest, we start with basics and go from simple subjects to very complex ones. Along with becoming skilled in art, drawing and painting are the absolutely best things to devote our free time and leisure hours to. This means also exploring ourselves, becoming smarter, better with decision making and invisibly growing new brain cells, as well, extending the lifetime of the existing brain cells. That means a better memory and an improved cognitive function.

Our December art project: beginners and students with experience, everybody got fantastic results. It was a very successful art instruction, and I finished a few versions of my demo paintings. This is one of them. 

Therefore, I would suggest, we start with basics and go from simple subjects to very complex ones. Along with becoming skilled in art, drawing and painting are the absolutely best things to devote our free time and leisure hours to. This means also exploring ourselves, becoming smarter, better with decision-making and invisibly growing new brain cells, as well, extending the lifetime of the existing brain cells. That means a better memory and an improved cognitive function.

Suggestions on how to choose art classes: https://inesepogagallery.com/2017/10/09/choose-art-classes/

Registration for art classes: https://inesepogagallery.com/classes-workshops-schedule/

And some of our previous experiences: https://inesepogagallery.com/2013/09/20/art-classes-a-worthwhile-activity/

Art is created in a different dimension

Art is even more than meditation. It transfers us to a different place, it happens in a different dimension and it results in a completely different experience.

I need, just like most of us, to shut off the world here and there.

To recharge, regain energy and clean my internal, soul-bound me.

I know that somebody might say: well, there are important subject and totally unimportant, and trying to paint unimportant things is just waste of time.

It doesn’t really matter, not one small bit.

It is totally possible to forget to eat, to forget what the weather outdoors is; what day it is and whether there are some urgent chores to be done.

The funny thing is that everybody can get into it.

I certainly would advise to let everything disappear time to time.

 

These are my lovely veggies

Love veggies is available from studio, this website and DailyPaintworks site:

$150 plus shipping in Canada $20 and to USA shipping is $25 because this is a large painting Love veggies

At least on my computer, better color balance is visible: ash berries or rowan berries, watercolor, The fall branch is also on DailyPaintworks:

Branch of ash berries

Sunflower sketch

 

I also got finally better pictures of sunflower sketch and ash berries. Well, in order these pictures were normally visible, every picture should be featured at the beginning of post. I just  really do not care about many things, and frequency of posting is one of them. I am in the middle of a creative uplifting swing. I hope it takes me somewhere higher.

Different approach to art class: focus on relaxing and stress-free creativity

I am offering a new art class this fall: to paint and to relax letting all concerns and problems go. The key to creativity is being relaxed and not to expect miracles, but learn creating them.

I noticed that some students were taking art classes way too seriously, and being not in a relaxed mood does not allow achieving the same results what people, who always take things easy, do.

I want to make a welcoming environment for creation so that purely technical goals become secondary while painting.

American traditional art teaching pays too much attention to the technical execution of art while leaving the emotional and spiritual side totally neglected. Especially, when I just relocated to Canada, it was definitely overwhelming how sometimes artwork would scream: I am technically perfect, every smallest dot and line is where they should be and every color is exactly as the textbook requires. That is why some artists go for big lengths: they trace and copy photos, and redraw and repaint everything what in digitally adjusted photo is. Where is the creativity? That allows achieving a perfection which frequently lacks feelings and does not move emotions. I would like to emphasize: the creative process is the most valuable part of the artistic phenomenon.

Perfection in art is not the best guiding idea because it simply does not allow unfolding the creative potential.

I hear this quite frequently: I’m not touching this painting anymore because I do not want to damage it. Well, leaving work unfinished isn’t good either.

I also wanted to make an art class which is impossible to replicate online: just because the content of this class rests on the presence and the interaction between me, group and everybody as an individual.

I will gear everything towards a great, interesting, amazing and positive experience. That means learning about oneself and art, and learning to be creative without the annoying pressure which some teaching venues want to impose on somebody who is looking for a new skill and ability.

We will use blocks of paper, so that at the end of this  positive painting session  everybody will have an image diary and will be able to continue adding creations.

Inspiration and immersion in calm, creative environment is something we do not find often or elsewhere.

I believe, this type of art class where experience and activity flow together creating emotional satisfaction, thus, releasing stresses and providing with a new perspective on the bothering issues in one’s life, will be well attended and appreciated.

It’s very interesting that I was away and did not do any advertising so far, but people were applying, in fact, a lot of people, that included the new daytime watercolor painting class.

I am adding as illustration some brush stroke and wash only paintings which do not need any drawing. We use only watercolor and water, and we watch what happens and how our thoughts and ideas look on paper.

Watercolor paintings without drawing: fun, relaxing brushing and interesting flow of pigment:

Leaf patterns, washes and more washes, available at $85

Leaf patterns

Road towards the fall

Distant storm

Side by side with summer, available at $40 

Side by side with summer

Sponge trees

October sketch

Art classes are for everybody because we will be using only our personal preferences with choosing colors, subjects and the way they look.

And finally, the best new watercolor painting “Water edge”, available at $85 plus shipping Water edge

Participants will have a lot of choice: they can draw, they can use pen or they can also do very abstract or semi-abstract art for their image diary. That’s why it’s called: stress relief with color and line.

Art classes and fall start soon

Fall art classes start soon. That is a fact. Fall is here. This might be the most inspirational time for poets and artists, especially these ones who are taken away by color.

My fall art classes usually resume in October. I went to Latvia earlier this year, so, art classes can start sooner and be long enough to learn plenty. It’s going to be October.

I had to think a lot how to arrange art classes this year: I tried 1-day workshops, 2-day workshops, monthly classes and 2 classes on the same subject. I tried everything, I believe. I will have 8 classes in a row this season because it felt as if previous approach did not give enough time for everybody, and I definitely do not like rushing people.

These classes are supposed to give a lot of space and freedom for interpreting subject in a very personal way. We have created wonderful paintings before, and they never looked the same. Every student had used their own view on things, and that is pretty much how art should be: originating in the artist, not in a photo which gets copied onto a paper or canvas. I would love that every class is experience and process and less an attempt to stick to perfection because when we do not get everything perfect we are upset. I encourage everybody to play with shapes, contrasts, colors and try finding the ones that make sense for that particular student personally. We are all similar and very different at the same time: why would we try to create copies of each others work?

We will have new fall art class: a  daytime watercolor and sketching class which will focus on pleasure and excitement that only colors and good mood can provide us with. I was told quite frequently that not everybody can attend the late afternoon class, so, here you go: meditate, relax and enjoy doing these watercolor studies that are suitable for absolutely everybody as long as they are willing to try some brushstrokes. This class does not require a lot of materials, and we will do exactly that: we will get lost in artistic freedom to create whatever we feel like at that moment. I have a pretty good idea how well this will work out, so, it should be a fantastic class if you are looking for a great pastime and if you feel you need to decrease your stresses and forget about problems.

Fall art classes: late afternoon watercolor and acrylic painting class will continue the good tradition of this studio: enjoy the process and learn in a relaxing environment. I have thought about new subjects which will be very suitable for exploration and studies, and I will try to gear students’ attention towards the use of tips and tricks, many different techniques and ways of paint application, as well as watercolorists will get a boost with their drawing skill.

When I am traveling from place to place, there is rarely time to sit down and quietly paint or sketch. As you know, I want my subject to be in front of me, whether that is a still life apple or some flower, or a scene. I quite honestly cannot stand repainting photos, so, I am very happy every time when there is a chance to get something on paper. It’s not much. My subjects had wilted and gotten bad while I was away, but still: that is at least an exercise. I did not have a desk or decent table, and I had to balance everything on my lap or stretch a bit in order to reach to water or paint which is a fun of some sort.

Some sketch and 2 watercolor paintings, that’s all I got done so far while traveling

Rowan berries or ash berries, as well as some sunflower and apples, we will try some nature scenes with still life elements in our fall art classes, too.

Quick sketch: inspiration for fall art classes

 

This really says: fall

 

 

 

I have noticed: if I cannot paint or draw for a longer time, I feel like I am missing something a lot. I hope you have nice plans for your fall season, as well!

Taking pictures of art and displaying: it is a challenge

Taking pictures of art is my never-ending challenge. I have been dealing with some other issues, too.

What happened to all good themes on WordPress.org?

Oh well.

I’ve been sitting at computer way too long. As I told before, I don’t have a better theme on my website right now for a very silly reason: I just couldn’t find a good one. It seems almost impossible.

All of them look great as demos.

Once I started to adapt them to what I want, I ended up seeing that:

one page themes don’t work;

with all kinds of fancy stuff overloaded themes don’t work;

completely plain and totally flat themes don’t work, so on and so on. I tried 8 themes, lost money on one, and here I am: with the same 2017.

I decided to leave it as is because while I was doing my theme adjustments, I worked as a slave for two weeks, 14 hours a day and that was affecting my life and everything else I had to do.

I am going to Latvia, but prospects traveling without cash are not very attractive.

Joining the Daily paintworks

I finally signed up for Daily paintworks where one tries to sell original art, not prints.

It took me five years to decide, and it is rather a desperate measure. All online art sites are crowded and there is a confusing amount of artworks to choose from.

Participation is quite costly, too, so one is pretty much under pressure to sell something.

Well, extremely cheap and tiny art sells well there, but I don’t have anything smaller than 11 x 14 inches. Very few old pieces might be 8 x 10 inches. So, I signed up and one can place only one artwork per day, so I have two paintings there at the moment.

Summer fence is available at $120 plus shipping

 Summer fence watercolor

Purple variety painting

Once again, I will try to do something also locally which is very unlikely to be a successful thing because this neighborhood is quite dead.

And I will try to sell something also over the internet from this same site.

Taking pictures of art: it isn’t easy

My biggest problem has been inability to capture on image the art as it really is; and this problem is persistent for many years. I don’t think it’s only mine problem. Camera looks at painting differently, and the color balance really depends on colors in painting.

Blue shades, greys and blue green colors look better.

Red, orange and yellow is a huge problem. I have paintings which have a lot of red and I cannot show them online because the color comes out weird, and it is not at all as in my painting. It is usually impossible to bring back the color balance with editing either.

Taking pictures of art in context and with background

I have noticed that watercolor artists use to take pictures of their paintings using contextual background. I started to take such picture of my art intuitively: some 8 years ago or so.

I paid attention very soon to the fact that everything that did not display only the cropped painting image looked fine. I mean, painting regained all natural colors and its good look.

That also gives some idea about the size because it is quite annoying to see how on some sites my very large art is displayed smaller than my small art.

Just placing something next to painting or photographing paintings in a bunch, having some surroundings show behind or taking art picture when it is on the wall, or using for decoration whatever, results in a photo that has all colors well balanced.

Taking pictures of art and displaying online

This particular theme does not allow also displaying everything as I would love to. The featured image becomes too huge. I tried to add my own css when doing theme adjustments, so I made the blog posts page larger size, but decreasing the widget area resulted in losing the number of followers. I will have to live with this display for a while because too much editing the theme caused all content text disappearing completely.

I can display on my website my art as I prefer, but when I have to post it somewhere else, it needs to be cropped and possibly edited, but I have noticed if the colors aren’t right, no editing will make that painting look as it is.

Most art looks better in reality. It can be so annoying at times that after taking about 30 pictures of some painting not one is good enough to post somewhere.

My art deals

I will be offering nice deals on my art up to August 19, and I will ship my paintings anywhere, but shipping will be extra. I got in big trouble last year because I was using UPS; and the shipping was costing more (isn’t that insane?) than my paintings I was shipping. I was so upset that I decided not to use UPS again. I’ve been shipping quite large art to Europe just by Canada post and the cost was somewhat ok, it was at least better.

Anyway, have a look at my art and I will also post more exercises for those who love painting with watercolor and are learning and experimenting with sketching and watercolor.

Maybe I should make a specific Facebook page for that? We’ll see how it goes.

I believe pictures of paintings look better in a context and on a background.

It is worth experimenting with that, as well.

How drawing and painting teaches life and boosts mental fitness

Drawing and painting are some of the best things we can do in order to increase the brain activity, improve memory (not only visual) and become more confident, self-aware and efficient with making decisions.

How so? Every line and brush stroke we put down on paper or canvas comes from the brain impulses and activity of neurons at certain parts of the brain. Your hand doesn’t move on its own, it’s guided by our perception and the ability to transform visually or with other senses perceived information into individualized personal experience which is reflected as you draw or paint. It is a very complex process, and we tend to think there are mysterious powers of some kind involved. I sort of want to remove the magic aspect from creativity, just to keep things simple. Inspiration will add the magic, but we have to start from the basics.

Most people do not see the surrounding world as an artist does. So, the first task is learning to recognize all the multiple aspects of transforming a simple visual image into art that exhibits the artistically applicable features of this image. How do we do that?

Anything we draw or paint must find some echo in the storage space of our imagination. Such space of stored imaginary images is present within any memory based on associative and a priori acquired knowledge. Anything we create always relates to our fundamental knowledge of this world. Yet, the drawing or painting we are doing has SPECIFIC OBJECTS, VERY SPECIFIC ITEMS, a VERY SPECIFIC THEME and ATMOSPHERE. It is a scene like no other because it always presents individual features. No two apples are exactly the same, now flower copies the other one exactly line by line, vein by vein and trees come all in very various shapes, not to mention faces, landscapes or other scenery.

Since most people who learn painting or drawing believe that getting all information from the outside and simply following somebody without making their own decision will do the job, first artworks usually do not come out that great. While we are sketching or blocking in the basic shapes or lines, we should already try to decide why everything is where it is, and why composition evolves as it does. The reason we place our objects based on some principle on our paper or canvas is deciding early and planning for effects which we create later.

Adding paint or other elements is always making decisions: first about values, then about shapes, edges, washes and eventually we need to apply color if it is watercolor or acrylic or oil painting in color. Our brain has to make these decisions fast. Most mediums require using relevant timing. If we hesitate too much in some watercolor layers, it simply is too late to achieve the type of wash that makes such painting outstanding. If we are too slow, the acrylic layer we worked at is already dry or tacky and we have to return to it later.

Some images from recent art classes

Blooming in studio, painting makes us happier and definitely boosts mental fitness

There are two main things blocking our ability to proceed with painting or drawing when somebody attends or watches a class: we believe that instructor has made all decisions for us and our task is to blindly follow and to repeat what we see; and we are trying to do everything without any knowledge of why. There is no reasoning, no decisions which arise from our current activity.

For instance, when asked what he or she is doing with some particular part of painting, a very frequent answer is: “I don’t know”. How come? You have to know why you want one part dark and how to achieve that, you have to decide whether that particular object is small or large, has lost edges or sharp edges. That is, basically, we have to decide what exactly and why exactly every time we do something with our painting or drawing.

The biggest trouble maker is simple, aimless brushing around, moving paint all over until everything what there was is lost. That comes from not making a decision. When we decide that clouds are large and grey, we act to achieve this. It’s obvious that only acting based on decision can contribute to implementation of our intentions.

The instructor or art teacher isn’t a magician; they cannot affect directly and immediately the way your brain works. They hope you pay attention to what they say and demonstrate and you will make your own decisions based on this advice. However, if you do not answer for yourself why, what, when and how, the progress is noticeably delayed. Therefore, I also advice doing value sketches. This does not slow one down, but helps tremendously with planning and deciding on what, where and what way.

Eventually, the decision making we learn in classroom makes one much more efficient in other areas of life; hence, everything should be based on decision, not impulse and lack of thinking, so that we do not have to admit: I don’t know why I am doing this. You have to. Unfortunately, nobody can provide you with a dose of understanding perspective, values, shapes, contrasts, layouts and other elements as a capsule or tablet to simply swallow and apply. Everybody has their own ways of making the necessary decisions and they should arrive to this understanding on their own, based on advice, recommendations, techniques and principles teacher, demo or class has provided with.

2 new still life paintings for sale

Sunny still life, 12 x 16 in, acrylic on canvas

Recent study

Fall still life based on drawing: Fall still life

More about drawing: Magic attraction of drawing

Lifeschool post has some suggestions on how to avoid preventable accidents and also shares some stories of people who required lengthy recovery:  Preventing bad accidents

Art instruction: achieve good results painting with acrylic

Acrylic paints are very friendly. No smells, no known allergy causing components. I would advise people with sensitive skin to use gloves: they should be thin and match size of your hand.

Acrylic paints are easy to use because we can paint over, cover up and restart painting any areas which we assume not good enough, not suitable or not working. We sometimes need to wait until the first layer is dry. Overworking one spot causes the paint to come off.

Acrylic paints can be applied thinly, diluted with glazing medium or water and in a thick layer creating almost impasto effects. It’s just so that prices of paints have tripled since 2008 in Canada, so it is obvious that using modelling paste or different materials as a base is better than applying a lot of paint.

The biggest issues are two. 95% of beginning artists who work in acrylic USE TOO LESS PAINT. A LOT LESS PAINT than necessary. That results in uneven, streaky coverage or there is no distinction in color and value. We have to add the paint as we go regularly. Acrylic paints dry fast, so dipping on paint a few drops of water or slightly spraying it with water time to time will help hugely. Having just a small drop of paint on your palette is not going to work. USE DECENT AMOUNT OF PAINT! ALWAYS! Keep it slightly wet all the time while you are using this paint.

Secondly, partially painted canvas does not look good. We can check that by taking a picture. If the canvas fabric is clearly visible, that part certainly requires more paint, sometimes: much more paint.

By its nature, acrylic paints act like a glue. We have to use this feature in our favor. We start with more abstracted layers and move onto something more definite. WE SHOULD NOT START WITH FINAL DETAILS OR ASSUME THAT THE FIRST LAYER IS FINAL. Apply at least 3-5 layers and then decide what else you can do. Never judge an unfinished painting or make unreasonable conclusions about it. We fix and change EVERYTHING as we need!

The second issue is BRUSHING THE PAINT ALL AROUND. We need to place the paint wherever we want it and leave this spot alone. With that being said, we shouldn’t create strong fat lines with sharp edges for darker areas or road sides, field ends and similar. We want darker areas, not darker frames everywhere. To achieve that, we feather out the outer edge on this area. Just let the brush dance on your canvas and don’t worry too much about blending in the first few layers. By letting the brush slightly touch canvas on one spot we can hold the particular color on that area. Brushing paint around results in achieving uniformly flat color on the entire canvas.  We have to use the color we want on the spot where we intend to apply it.

Instructor can demonstrate, explain or show principles, techniques and approaches, but painting is still up to you. That means: you have to use the reference, remember to look at the reference whether it is a real abject or scene, or a photo all the time, not only when you start the painting. That does not really happen in reality.

Painting is based on very many decisions we make every moment. In fact, we make many hundreds of decisions every second. So, if you only follow the instructor, but haven’t decided anything for yourself, results will not be that great.

Why am I saying: pay attention to the reference? I have to repeat that because most people don’t ever pay attention to reference. When we are just beginning to paint, they would have a brief look at it. I notice after a small while that NOBODY LOOKS any more at the reference. YOU HAVE TO! Reference or value drawing (if you have created such) HAS ALL THE ANSWERS: where to use dark color, where to make strong edge, where to wash edge or lose it, where to place highlights and what exactly the shape of something is.

Talking about brushes: always use the ones which you feel comfortable with and which suit the size of the area you are working on. Very simple. We use the largest possible brush for any task. Flat brush has MULTIPLE USES with acrylic paint. We can draw thin long lines with the edge of it; we can cover large areas using it flatly, parallel to surface in full width, we can use 2 different shades or colors on each end of the flat brush which simplifies and speeds up painting.

How does the painting or drawing happen? We transform the visually perceived information in the brain signals that eventually lead to our hand movements. Whenever our hand moves accordingly to decision we made, we achieve the desired result. The more decisions one makes and the more one understands why some parts are neutral, some have strong and some have weak values, the easier it is to paint or draw. Blindly following and copying RESTRICTS our ability to analyze, understand and apply our vision creatively.

We develop acrylic paintings from my sketches. The light barn with pink-red roof was painted by our youngest student Erin who is 11 and attends classes together with her mom. We just started a new project which we are also doing from a quick sketch of mine.

I have been an art instructor for more than 35 years and I have spent thousands of hours watching how students start out with their paintings.  I have also been a beginner in arts many years ago. Therefore, I am aware of tough things which we experience when using such a medium as acrylic. Especially, if this type of paint is a completely new to you.

Therefore, some images are from mid-December classes.

Painting, drawing and sketching manually is THE BEST MENTAL FITNESS EXERCISE. Nothing else can compete or compare to that. Period.

Sign up for painting and drawing classes here: https://inesepogagallery.com/classes-workshops-schedule/

The lifeschool blog reviews challenges during dark and upsetting winter: https://inesepogalifeschool.com/2017/01/17/how-to-feel-good-and-survive-the-dullness-of-depressing-winter-days/ Please enjoy!

 

Short introduction in main issues which everybody encounters when they pick up pencil or brush

Lesson 1

You always wanted to draw or paint: it seems it does not want to happen.

You will need patience, courage; willingness to experiment and make mistakes, as well as, you should be ready to put into your learning process efforts, work and time.

Any drawing and painting starts with being able to see and feel. It does not start with knowledge of techniques and all kinds of tools and mediums.

I have given countless classes and workshops over many years; it actually feels like I have been teaching arts all my life. It is obvious that all people who would love to start painting or drawing do not get past the first problems and give up this fantastic activity before they could even become aware of easy fixes which there are just for anything when it comes to creation.

The main thing with visual arts is the ability to see and to understand what one is looking for. Most people will definitely be sure that they have eyesight good enough and that they can see everything. That is not true at all. While we are seeing things around us, we are not seeing them in an artistic way. I suppose the inability to perceive values, shapes, colors, lines and their relationship, as well as correct scale, depends on what one has been doing and using for drawing and painting before.

It’s not rare that artists also simply copy an image and then transfer this copy onto paper or canvas. Many artists do a lot of image editing with some software so that the image is ready to copy and to apply paint on it. They believe that will save time and efforts and make painting process easier. That’s not true either. Do not do that, do not copy any photos or images if you want to ever draw and paint without fear and with confidence.

A complex drawing might take me between 30 minutes and an hour, but that’s about it. I will have everything in my drawing: values, composition, correct scale since I’m usually doing the entire canvas or paper size drawings as opposed to thumbnail sketches, and I can start doing whatever I want with it: use for watercolor, pastel or acrylic and so on. I won’t need editing, adjusting, copying, enlarging.

Therefore, if you want to be ever free from computers, laptops, screens, all kinds of measuring devices, grids and photos, start learning to see.

I have noticed this for millions of times: people do not see anything in the reference photo or picture. They see a flower, a tree or fence, but there is nothing behind that. I am also using real objects: fruit, vegetables, flowers, flower pots, leaves, cups, bowls, glasses and similar stuff, and that does not usually help at all. No attention gets paid to shadows, value distinction, correct size, potential composition, contrasts and layout. Every single person can draw and paint as soon as they understand what they have to see in that object. That refers to drawing figures and body parts, as well.

It is hilarious how there are so many separate art lessons like: How to paint an apple, How to paint a bird, How to paint a spring landscape, How to paint a cup or glass, so on. The answer to this: you can paint anything; you can draw anything once you are able to see it. To see it in an artistic way taking into account things which other people don’t know exist. Therefore, lesson 1 is: place some object in front of you and look at it. Look carefully at dark and light spots, visible lines and shadows, direction and size of any shapes. Starting with very light and general outlines try to get the exact shape. Start with very general shapes and lines and move towards details. Repeat until the object or objects get dimensions and start to take on shape. I will illustrate it in more detail in some upcoming posts. Yes, it all comes from our eyes and brain, and hand with pencil or brush just makes the brain signals visible. How do these signals get into our brain? Our senses and our memory, plus imagination contribute to this process. That is why drawing and painting is the best tool for fixing memory issues, taking care of brain flexibility and for prevention of mental diseases.

 

Value sketch in the actual size is the best help one can have

 

Lilies

I have elaborated a new approach to acrylic painting since many people want to learn it, but results are quite often disappointing and don’t make them happy. This new approach uses the specific features of acrylic (fast drying time, ability to work over dry layers) and turns them into the biggest advantage. Results are quick and stunning. Most people don’t even believe they could paint it. There is a small remark, however: as long as they follow my steps and take into account the guiding suggestions. I don’t think I will bother with online classes because the live art classes are the only ones which make real sense. It matters how much water or how much paint, or what medium on what surface one uses. It matters how fast the previous steps are done and it matters how you move the brush and mix the paint. Everything matters, and we can correct mistakes right there where they happen, therefore, it is important to have a teacher which can directly see why some things work and why some others don’t.

 

Poppies

We are painting large flowers in Thursday classes. 2 hours at a time.

Inseparable fellows: desperation and delight, which one wins?

Acrylic painting, white winter

Shadows in my tea-cup, darkness behind the window and soft warmth from the small outdoor lights: that is the calming scene which surrounds me at the moment. The scent of a live fir-tree is absent, but I can certainly imagine that, too. As the year is fast approaching its end, my hopes and expectations get smaller and smaller until they will fade away completely.

What a terrible thing that is to get sick straight before Christmas and in the middle of the last potentially successful sales period! I did exactly that, I worked very hard for about a month and then my body told: that’s it; I need to shut down for a while and get some rest. Well, I missed all the potential sales opportunities since I couldn’t even lift my arm, not to mention do preparations, final touches on art or crafts, and I did not post any ads and I even did not turn on the “Open” sign.  Finally, it’s the first day now when I am a bit better, I can see the computer screen at least. What a relief!

White winter path, acrylic painting 30 x 22 inches

Well, when I hear the big numbers what people are spending during Christmas and holidays, I get even sicker. Is that even possible? Most likely it is.

I took some pictures of the recent works with my phone. It’s so dark, that trying to take a picture with my camera is totally out of question. Oh, like all people who are born under the Leo sign, I love warmth, sun and light. I love the light so much that I believe I’m not going to disappear in any darkness ever. I have actually devoted all my existence to multiplication of light. Nothing warms me more than a sunny day looking through curtains at my window.  Not good news for me so far, because nobody even knows I worked a lot to make this pre-holiday sale happen, but broke down straight before the rewarding finishing line.

I’m not a real Canadian either because I don’t put up a Christmas tree or decorations in November; I do not do the Christmas shopping until the last-minute, and therefore I am only catching up when others are way ahead of me. My Christmas means to put up the tree in the morning, decorate it around lunch time, and then cook a nice meal to have it at night. That’s how it always was since I can remember me. My dad and I went even to the forest just early on the Christmas morning sometimes. If I have everything ready month before this day, I am losing all the Christmas spirit and mood because for me these preparations are the celebration. Songs, flavors, candle lights and sparkles on the Christmas tree is all I need.

Since there is still a full week, I hope that my bank account miraculously turns from red into black, well, that might be also the only occasion when black is a good color; and I can supply myself completely with all the medications before the pharmacy shut-down period. I sincerely hope there might be a person who wishes to see some of my original paintings on their wall or assumes they are good enough to be presented as a gift. We used to say in Europe: hope is a comfort for a fool. Despite the poor odds, I won’t panic just yet. Everything goes on with or without fireworks.

 

Winter wonderland, acrylic painting 16 x 20 inches

 

One class was painting this winter scene along with me, we are doing some winter every December

 

 

The Life school blog talks about memories that are beautiful, but can be painful, as well:  http://inesepogalifeschool.com/2015/12/18/christmas-memories-that-can-make-us-cry/