Learning in steps

If you want to learn something try to do it many small steps.

If you want to paint portraits then think about the all rhe steps:

Choosing reference

Planing composition

Doing the preliminary drawing

Painting the first layers

Painting the last layer

Varnishing

And so on.

Go in much more detail and learn each step at its time. If you have problems with one step you may had a problem in the step before without knowing it.

Painting what you see

There is a difference between painting what you see, painting what you think you see and painting what you want to see.

Always separate these three to stay in control. Artists live from their choices not their accidents.

Connections

I often wonder how many small and big problems can be solved by speaking to people I thought could not solve the problem.

In many cases they have heard about something or they know somebody who knows more or can help. This leads to interesting and fruitful connections.

With the time you have a network of specialists helping with whatever you need. And for them you are a connection to someone they need too.

Concept

The concept of your art project does not have to be complicated. A simple concept often works better. Beauty is a simple concept, for example.

I am planing a series with totally different subjects but the same mood can be found in all paintings. That is the connection or concept.

Start simple, it gets complicated by itself later on.

One line drawing

Start a drawing and do not stop moving you pencil (or whatever) until you are finished. This way of drawing creates some nice accidents and is a cool warm up (again cool warm up) excercise.

World view

What do you think about your world and the time you live in? How does it feel to be you?

How can you make your world view part of your art?

Finishing

Try to finish a painting fast. I have ten seascape paintings nearly finished and it takes more time to finish them know than if I had done it right away.

Some paintings need to breathe for some time before the get signed, but ten? That’s a bit too much, Andy!

Questions on Instagram II

Got a few more questions on instagram:

Do you work from home or a studio or both and why?

I have a small studio space at home were I do studies and smaller paintings. It is great to have a place nearby that I can reach fast and easy. For larger works and my main painting sessions I have a bigger studio 10 walk minutes away.

Have you ever worked in an area other than art and if so what made you want to change?

With a friend I co-founded a company selling everything we find online. We also do logistics for other online sellers. We still have the company but we are not involved in the daily business.

Over the time I recognized a shift of interest and the realization that I do want to make art as much as possible. And it is not possible by having a non art day job. So I find a slow way of quitting that did not hurt by delegating my tasks to someone else.

Do you have any qualifications (other than art skills) that you feel have helped with your work?

 

Business skills are crucial when you want to sell something. This goes for artworks too. There is a pipeline from the creation/production of a piece, its presentation, the deal and the shipping. It is great to know about the logistics if you want to sell a piece to a collector from the other part of the world.

Questions on Instagram

I got some questions from Jodie on instagram:

What medias do you use and which is your personal favourite?

I use ballpoint pen, ink pen and pencil for my daily sketchbook studies. But oil paint is my favorite medium. Its tradition in the visual arts and its consistence ( the way you can manipulate and layer it ) are so appealing.

What techniques do you use and which is your favourite?

I understand techniques and styles fast and I experiment and mix them often. Most of the time I paint in the impressionist way (alla prima, thick layers of paint, broken color).

What are your favourite colours to use?

Titanium white, Ivory black, yellow ochre and cadmium red or ultramarine blue are two wonderful simple palettes which i use often.

What are your favourite surface textures to use if you use any?

Uneven rough textures or mid grain textures.

What things would you say influence you most?

More than I like, the great painters of the past inspire me. What they gave me is more than I asked for. It is incredible what they created without all this fancy stuff we have today.

And finally what made you choose a career in art?

I asked myself: What would I do if I have not to earn money?

I never had the feeling that I lose time and energy when painting. It feels like that it is worth the effort. It was one of the most important things in my life even before I chose it as a career. It think that art chose me.