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Monday, October 24, 2011


Art Lessons
Contemporary Art

As I have said before, I believe we´re all born with the ability to paint. Before we can even write, we already know how to paint. It´s an innate ability.


Even the cavemen knew how to paint even though they didn´t know how to write.

I remember that as far back as  kindergarten the nuns used to give us tracing paper and we would first trace the image and then paint it.

It wasn´t until age ten that I began to learn  about proportions, perspective, light/shadow and how to draw without using tracing paper. But who is to say that when I was tracing in kindergarten, I wasn´t already learning how to draw? The mind is an amazing thing...

So, if you can´t draw right now...trace...or use a grid.

You think that´s cheating?

Years ago, I met an artist who would do pastel portraits at a 5 star hotel. He would take a Polaroid picture of his clients (some of them were members of royalty) and then he would take the photo to a backroom and put it on a projector. He would then trace the photo, after which he would return to the hotel Lobby and sit and work with his pastels. He used to charge US$ 80 per portrait in 1980.

His dominion of pastels and the quality of the final result made you overlook the fact that he used a projector.

You still think this is cheating?

Well, let´s go back in time...

Da Vinci  used to place a glass on two easels to trace the landscapes and he, as well as other Master Artists used the camera obscura (a projector).

To find out more about the camera obscura, go to:  Camera obscura

So, do you still think it´s cheating?

If you´re not comfortable tracing, then use a grid. Many artists do. Even I use the grid, on occasion, when I don´t want to spend too much time sketching a subject.

Van Gogh used a perspective frame (similar to a grid that also aids perpective). To learn more about the perspective frame go to:
Van Gogh Museum

I prefer not to make a habit of using a grid because I don´t want to lose the ability of drawing freehand, on the contrary, I want to improve.

However, if you´re just starting and you´re having difficulty with your sketch, I highly recommend using the grid until you can draw freehand.

To learn how to use a grid go to:  Drawspace.com - Grid

You still think that´s cheating?

Then try "Naive Art". What is Naive Art?  Draw and paint...like a child.

For a more detailed description go to:  Naive Art

Also go to Google images and search for Naive Art and you will see exactly what I am referring to.

While I was surfing the web in search of some quotations for my next blog, I came upon this one:

When my daughter was about seven years old, she asked me one day what I did at work. I told her I worked at the college - that my job was to teach people how to draw.
She stared at me, incredulous, and said, "You mean they forget?" 

Howard Ikemoto - Art-Quotes

You still doubt you can paint? Well if elephants can do it....so can you!

Watch these videos of real elephants... painting  :))  :


I hope this has been helpful.

God Bless and Happy Painting!!

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