Let’s break down the process.
The first step: learning to see
Learn more about painting
“There is another way to learn painting and it involves your eye,” said Lenny Sze, president and founder of the Seattle-based company, Moleskine. “It involves your brain. You become interested in painting when your mind becomes interested in a particular piece of art.”
Sze says to start, start on something you’ve always wanted to do. And the first step is just to start. This year he plans to take a six-week course in “The Art of Painting,” in which he asks artists to take photographs of their own work.
Enlarge this image toggle caption Courtesy of Lenny Sze Courtesy of Lenny Sze
He says it’s important to keep a journal so you can study your own work. Even if you are a beginner who is learning to paint your first real sketches, you should get the basics down quickly, he says. To take it even further, find painting sites like Instagram, where you can post photos in progress. On them, upload a photo and add notes. Then, start by doing simple sketches of a piece of artwork, he says.
Once you get started, “putting away your brush can be very painful,” Sze says. To get it to “look right” you need to know how to do it in a way that works for you, he says. You also need to try things on your own; that can be intimidating.
The only way to get a grasp of these basics is to keep at it. That’s why art schools, such as Sze’s studio, emphasize a strict 12-week schedule where students spend their final weeks practicing, rather than just attending classes. “When you do your paintings, you feel like you have this innate talent,” Sze says. “So it can’t be faked.”
He adds that students don’t want anything less than a perfect color palette. That means using natural, non-gauge paints. Sze adds that he often uses spray paints on portraits and other large models. This gives a painter “no choice but to do a lot more with less pigment,” he says.
The second step: understanding the process
Next, Sze takes some time to explain the process in simple terms. And it’s all down to that first step.
“The two key elements are a very special technique that allows you to
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