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The trained artist's giveaway

When you see the work of thousands of artists you learn to spot the ones who've been trained by looking for just one thing.

Spoiler Alert!StudioTalk featured Member Gilli my choice this week for her amazing optically bright colour

I've just finished teaching the last of my professional development Masterclasses with session 4 'Transform Your Paintings',which was a class about fixing those fundamental things which make a HUGE difference.


Training people to paint is a funny thing, there are as many styles as there are artists, and the last thing I want to do is assume anything about what or how anybody wants to paint. With this in mind I've always struck to assessing a students fundamental skill set, and seeing if there are gaps in it I can fix.


I know, the minute I say 'fundamental' , 'core' or even worse' foundational' I can literally hear artists switching off across the globe; but before you do listen to course delegate Sarah Fremantle who wrote to me after the course on putting those fundamental things in order:

'This mornings lecture was probably the best and most useful art lecture I have ever attended. Thank you Martin.'


I think lots of online courses have a bad reputation because what the offer often sounds all a bit too good to be true, and most art tutors have a reputation for holding things back that they really rather their students didn't know- as if they invented value, colour, optics or any of the other absolutely fundamental (there I go again !) things that make, as Sarah kindly pointed out, for useful lessons and real changes.


Free Advice

So I'm going to give you one piece of advice which you can take to the bank. Use optics.


Optics which you might also know as glazing, scumbling and all of that jazz is the single biggest difference I've observed in my career between the work of trained and untrained painters. Like all things in painting, one can stumble across it through practice, however as my co-tutor Paul Minter often observes it's, 'not something you would fully grasp by chance.'




Last week on StudioTalk - our gentle stroll through inspirational things to paint - I created a study of Lilacs in the Sun after Claude Monet. The raison d'être of StudioTalk is fun community painting so to take part is to succeed; however what a huge difference in outcomes on this little study between members who used optics and those who just haven't learned that yet.


Optics is such a fundamental (sorry!) skill that I have a whole course stream devoted just to it in my Focus On program. Focus on is good old fashioned skills tuition, things that work and will change who you work with no messing about with if , buts or maybes.


My next Focus on is everything you need to know about optics to paint traditional work which given that everything was contemporary once, is all you fundamentally (ouch!) need to know about optics to paint your work today.


I'd like to invite you to join in with StudioTalk if you're not already a member, and if you are then to take part in my forthcoming class on the foundational fundamental core skills (I thought I'd get them all out of the way!), on optics: Classical Glazing.


And just in case you think optics is really old fashioned I'd love to invite you to my current solo Show Regeneration which has won rave reviews for its (you guessed it) optical colour, and I'm delighted to say has now been extended by the venue to 02.05 so you can catch it over the May Bank holiday.


‘With deft brushstrokes and exuberant swathes of colour, he elevates grittiness to something rich and magisterial..’Cultured North East, Jan 2022.


If you're new to the School you can join StudioTalk for 14 days absolutely free and risk free here





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