Friday 16 June 2023

Affair of the Art: Tradition vs. Tech – Who You Gonna Choose? 😉

Ross Tran, Mona Lisa
In the realm of artistic expression, painting has long been a cherished medium. But with the rise of digital technology, a new form of artistry has burst onto the scene - digital painting.  And, its caused quite a stir among artists and art enthusiasts regarding the merits of traditional painting versus digital.  Pfft!!  I think all art should be celebrated, regardless of the medium.  

Sure, digital art is a relatively new concept for some, and there are those who think the computer does all the work which is far from the truth (okay, AI can do that, but that's a whole other discussion).  I can understand these ideas, but why not embrace the old and the new?

I love traditional and digital painting, and I'd like to share a bit about my experiences with both media.  As a traditional artist, I relish the tactile experience of brushes gliding across canvas, the heady scent of turpentine and the feel of paint beneath my fingers. It's a sensory feast that connects me deeply with my artwork.  But when I ventured into digital painting, a whole new world opened up.

The flexibility to experiment with endless brushes, colour combinations, and textures is incredibly liberating and a place where I can quickly push the boundaries.  And fixing mistakes is a breeze. If the background isn't working or the colours clash, I can easily make changes without destroying the entire piece.  

However, there are downsides to consider. It's easy to fall into the trap of perfectionism. I've lost track of the hours spent trying different backgrounds, palettes, and brushes, often over-rendering the piece and losing sight of its original intention or story. Decision-making becomes challenging when faced with endless options, leading to a loss of spontaneity—an essential element of artistic expression.

Too many brushes and layers can slow down your process as you keep switching between them, hindering spontaneous creativity 

Traditionally, my preferred medium is oils but I also enjoy watercolour and acrylics.  Watercolour is great because it kinda paints itself if you let it.  It's hard to control so you can end up with serendipitous outcomes which often make the piece.  While replicating this digitally is a challenge, I have used a watercolour painting as a starting point for a digital portrait, allowing its influence to guide my decisions on colour and texture.

Throughout my 20-year journey as a fine artist, there has been an undeniable charm to traditional drawing and painting that captures my heart. The physical materials, and the subtle nuances created by brushstrokes all contribute to a sense of craftsmanship in my work.  Stepping into the digital realm hasn't ended my love affair with fine art; instead, it has expanded my creativity.  We are allowed to love both 😉!

Part of being an artist or an enthusiast is being open to what we don't yet understand (AI excluded, of course 😝).  Digital painting is just another form of painting, no more or less valuable than its traditional counterpart. If Andy Warhol or Leonardo da Vinci were here today, I believe they would embrace it.  

If you got this far, thanks for sticking it out until the end, and if you enjoyed this post, please share the love.  

Have a great weekend 💕

image: Ross Tran, Mona Lisa

Friday 9 June 2023

Portrait Commissions: The Secret to Looking Rich and Important!

People commission portraits for all sorts of reasons, and it varies from person to person. Let's explore some of the reasons why commissioning a portrait can be an incredibly rewarding experience:

  • Capturing the Magic of Time: As we gaze upon a portrait, we are instantly immersed in a world of memories, emotions, and stories.  Every brushstroke and detail in the artwork preserves those precious moments for eternity.
  • Unveiling Stories: Portraits have the amazing ability to tell stories. Through skillful artistry, a portrait becomes a visual narrative that reveals a hidden essence about the subject. Brushstrokes, expression, and details all add depth and personality, awakening emotions that words may struggle to express. 
  • Family Heirlooms: Additionally, a commissioned portrait holds the potential to become a cherished family heirloom. As time passes, it gains sentimental value, becoming a bridge that connects generations, connecting the past with the present and the future.
  • Collaborating with Talented Artists: Commissioning a portrait is an exciting opportunity to collaborate with a skilled and passionate artist. They pour their heart and soul into their work, and by commissioning a portrait, you become a patron of their art, supporting their creativity and dedication. It's a win-win situation!

While commissioning a portrait may not actually make you rich and important, it certainly adds a dash of charm, creativity, and playfulness to your life.  Whether you're capturing cherished memories, telling compelling stories, or making the neighbours envious, commissioning a portrait is an experience that can bring joy and a touch of whimsy to your everyday existence.

If you’d like to find out more about commissioning a portrait, please contact me or click on this link for more info.

Thanks for reading until the end.  If you found this article helpful or inspiring, please share the love.

Have a great weekend.

image: Olivia (commissioned portrait)

Friday 2 June 2023

How to Unleash Your Artistic Superpowers: Mastering the 80/20 Rule for Maximum Creative Impact

Hey fellow artists! 🎨 I've been diving deep into the intriguing concept of the 80/20 rule, also known as the Pareto Principle. It suggests that 80% of our results come from just 20% of our efforts.  Sounds too good to be true right?

However, after delving into many resources, I found how we can apply this rule to our art practice and take our skills to new heights.

  1. Analyse your process: Take a hard look at those time-sucking tasks that slow you down. Whether it's sketching, refining details, or picking colours, identify the areas that consume a lot of your valuable time.

  2. Find your vital few: These are your superpowers, the key elements of your work that have the biggest impact on its overall quality. Is it composition, lighting, colours, intricate details, or that captivating loose brushstroke style? Discover what sets your art apart and makes it shine.

  3. Levelling up: Take these superpowers and make them even more super. Streamline, learn new tricks, and use tools that make you fly.  From photobashing to hotkeys and action commands, find what works best for you.

  4. Time is gold: Time is gold! Prioritize your painting time, create distraction-free zones, and kick multitasking to the curb. Make room for dedicated slots of research and inspiration because feeding your creativity is essential.

  5. Practice makes perfect: Regularly train and develop techniques to become a speed demon without sacrificing quality.  Embrace the power of repetition.

  6. Seek artist feedback: Connect with fellow artists, join communities, and soak up wisdom.  Learn from others and fine-tune your process.

To Sum Up

  1. Analyze your process and identify time-consuming tasks
  2. Determine the few tasks that have the most impact
  3. Focus on improving efficiency and skills
  4. Manage your time effectively
  5. Practice regularly
  6. Seek feedback and learn from other artists

I’d love to hear your feedback and if any of you have successfully incorporated this rule into your art practice. 🚀🎨

Have a great weekend.

image: Snow (detail)