Lesson Monday Oct 2, 2020

Updated: Oct 8, 2020

Edward Hopper and Studying the Masters -

We talked about the importance of studying the art of the masters. The discovery that Edward Hopper copied from existing artwork when he was a teenager seems to have impacted the art world mostly because Hopper himself claimed to be entirely self-taught. From the article: '“The only real influence I’ve ever had was myself,” he once claimed.'

Link to Hopper article in Sunday's NY Times (Oct 1)


Judy asked how to make a very dark area lighter in a charcoal drawing. I gave her two answers, but note that neither is necessarily easy to do! The first way to modify the value of a part of a drawing is to darken or lighten some other area next to it. The contrast will help. Secondly, use an eraser on a too-dark area but CAUTION, this can be very tricky.

Remember to take a step back from your work, sometimes several days long, and then come back and look at the artwork and NOT at the photo or setup for a minute. Make the drawing itself "work" or "read right" rather than devoting it to the photo or setup. For example, if you've got a vase of flowers in front of you and you're drawing it, you might decide that it needs more or fewer leaves than the actual arrangement. You can do that! Nobody will ever see the arrangement, just the artwork!

To adjust the photo you're planing to draw from, save the photo and then make a copy. Open the copy in your phone's photo app and start clicking buttons. That's it! You can't hurt the phone or the photo and really, that's the only way to understand how to do it. You can also use your PC or laptop, but if it isn't a touch screen it will be more difficult to edit the photo.

The Golden Ratio, Golden Triangle, Phi (all the same thing)

Open a new tab in your browser and type "Phi in art" into the search area. Enjoy! If you want to get a proportional divider, they seem to be about $10 to $12 everywhere. Get one that's 10 inches long and is intended for artists. There are other ways to use this tool rather than just the phi ratio, which we'll talk about.

Jackson Pollock

I was delighted to discover that Jackson Pollock was, in fact, a trained artist with a pretty good portfolio, by which I mean there are lots of early works you can look at. He also was able to earn money with his art during the Depression by working for the WPA. I found a page in the Smithsonian's website with some good information, link here.

I'm going to put the information for the week's assignment on a separate post.

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