October 5, 2011
If you don't use it, ya lose it....
I've spent the last two days just doing these little still life set ups (this one is a little 6X8" study) - and omigosh, I can't believe how quickly I got rusty - it just took a matter of weeks. It's interesting.....Richard Schmid describes the process of "seeing" as mental discipline, and just like any other discipline, lack of practice creates atrophy. It would seem that if you don't work regularly from life, this atrophy will most certainly occur. In my experience, drawing skills fade first, then the ability to see tonal changes, subtle color and temperature changes, etc.
If you ask anyone that is a regular painter about the phenomenon I've just described, I'm sure they will confirm my opinion. I have two sons that do art for a living; one a graphic designer, the other an animator. Both of them are superb drawers, and we have had this discussion many times. It seems neither right nor fair - we argue that once we have learned how to draw/paint we should be able to keep that skill level whether we use it or not - but it ain't necessarily so.
Soooo.....maybe I've convinced you to set up a still life today and jump into the deep end of the pool? I hope so.
PS working from a model or painting outdoors will of course achieve the same end - need I mention this? :)
PSS I have a couple workshops coming up that are painting from life - check them out on this blog or on my website.