Thursday, July 19, 2007

Lessons from Parrish and Rockwell

This is my review post on this month's artists: Maxfield Parrish and Norman Rockwell. I should really have a final color study to show you, but well, I'm too vain to show it. So, the month didn't turn out as I had hoped, but I have learned a few things and for that I'm grateful. Here they are:

Lessons About Parrish and Rockwell:

  • They worked out all those details in their work - and it was work. I have a greater appreciation for what it takes to achieve a composition like theirs. They didn't knock those up in a day or a week. Rockwell always did a final charcoal drawing before being on the final canvas. When you look at those, they are identical to a black and white version of the final - he did dozens of charcoal drawings and color studies before that final charcoal drawing. That was weeks of work.
  • They planned. Both of these artists were perfectionists. They worked each detail to it's own advantage and the advantage of the composition as a whole. That takes planning and experience.
  • They had a great knowledge of their medium, the "rules" of drawing, and combined that knowledge with experience. So, their knowledge (I believe) became very instinctual to them. This enabled them to achieve more and more.
  • They had confidence in their abilities and vision. They combined that confidence with perseverance in hard work.

What I bring in my backpack from this experience:

  • I still have more to learn in working with color, values, and colored pencils.
  • I need to keep drawing in graphite while I am working on something like this, just to keep up my confidence.
  • I have grown discouraged with this project, but I don't want to quit, I'm just hungry for more knowledge.
  • I need to find my strengths and play to them.
  • I need to find my weaknesses and strengthen them.

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