I wish I were a talented artist

Mona Lisa in the Louvre, Paris

‘Mona Lisa’ in the Louvre, Paris

Before the advent of photography, people were taught to draw and paint to capture the things they saw in everyday life. Some painted people, others replicated images of natural scenes. Great battalions and their uniformed leaders also featured greatly.

Some read deeply into their inspirational material and created vast, complex, awesome and imaginative masterpieces that took years and lots of persistence.

Others (to my untrained eye!) seemed to paint comparatively little, but I must have missed something, because their work also found a place on many gallery walls!

A talented painter works on his canvas

A talented painter works on his canvas

With the arrival of photography, there was less need to capture images of people and places on canvas, as we could create magical ‘true to life’ images on paper. And then digital photography arrived and paper images became unfashionable 🙂

Now we take photography for granted and cameras are built into all sorts of gadgets as well as being a tool in their own right.

In modern times, artistic drawing and painting classes have become specialised and no longer seem to be a part of the everyday curriculum in schools (unless one is specialising in art subjects). Too often, I hear my peers say “I can’t draw, not even stick figures”. But I wonder whether they actually ‘can’t draw’, or simply were never taught ‘how to draw’. I know I am certainly one who belongs in the latter group. I participated in numerous art classes at school, but never took a drawing class.

English: Illustrations from What to draw and h...

English: Illustrations from What to draw and how to draw it by E. G. Lutz. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Some years ago, I decided to teach myself how to draw, and I can now produce something reasonably acceptable with a lot of time and care. But when it comes to using colours? Not a chance!

There is no doubt that there are many very talented artists in the world who have probably never been formally taught anything – their skills just come naturally. They choose a scene, look carefully, measure a few things up with the end of a pencil, then sketch. Then paint. It is so wonderful to watch!

Luckily for me, I live in the age of amazing digital technology and I can photograph the lovely scenes I come across. I could even ‘cheat’ and put a paintbrush effect on each, but it just isn’t the same! But it will have to do until I learn how to get the colours right!

Here are a selection of my favourite photos. How I wish I were a talented painter so that I could turn them into paintings! (I would need to specialise in water painting techniques, as I seem to be particularly attracted to water features!)

Reflections on a canal near Reading, England

Reflections on a canal near Reading, England

Reflected autumn colours (again - a canal in the UK)

Reflected autumn colours (again – a canal in the UK)

Catching a wave at Mystery Bay (NSW)

Catching a wave at Mystery Bay (NSW)

Beach at Tathra (NSW)

Beach at Tathra (NSW)

This post was inspired by the Weekly Writing Challenge: I wish I were…..

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10 Responses to I wish I were a talented artist

  1. shail says:

    The pictures are really awesome! Yeah I wish too at times that I knew to paint!

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  2. scrapydo says:

    The last photo is perfect, so beautiful I must say. I am the same as you with the drawing. As soon as I put color to the drawing I don’t like it anymore! 🙂

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    • Madoqua says:

      The beach is a great place to get photos – I like to get them with no footprints and no people!
      It’s interesting about the colour in drawings. Perhaps I am not interpreting them properly. I am told that when one can ‘see’ the light, drawing/photography takes on a whole new dimension, so maybe this applies to colour as well.

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  3. The reflection photos are lovely.

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  4. KnitNell says:

    Always carry a very small notebook with, preferably, blank paper and just small enough to pop into a pocket with a pen or pencil. Before you take a photograph just do a quick doodle of the same scene. If you do that every time and it becomes a ritual/habit you will not think of yourself as ‘drawing’ or being an artist but just finding a good way of quickly capturing something interesting. You may soon find that by ‘doodling’ you notice more in the scene than you do looking at the photo. Drawing is just seeing with a pencil, if you can write then you can draw……. does any adult ask of another “what do you think of my writing, is it ok? Do I form my letters ok or are my o’s a bit wonky and my t’s a bit weak?” As long as you get the message across most readers/viewers are happy. Anyway, that is my take on it…..oh and don’t bother painting from a photo, what would be the point? Paint what you see, even if you only have time to paint part of the waterfall – and there is nothing wrong with using a blue biro if that is the only thing you have to hand. Have a look at my pinterest board http://pinterest.com/knitnell/illustration/ and there you will see a couple of artists who use biros – fab. cheers.

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