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Author Archives: hannahb
In some drawings, ordinary objects seem to take on distinctive roles, thereby bringing a work to life. The secret behind this transformation and resulting dynamism may be just a simple matter of contrasting elements. There are many types of contrast and juxtaposition you can use to make your work more engaging. In this article we’ll explore five of them.
Learn the basics of two-point perspective by constructing a simple house together step by step. We’ll imagine the house is on a little hill and we’re viewing it from somewhere down the hill; that is, our eye level is below the house. The structure is turned so that it’s in two-point perspective—we can see two sides of it. Everything about this house is symmetrical except for the chimney located at one end rather than in the center.
Robert K. Carsten’s version of still life encompasses paper bags and bottle caps, where the emphasis is on the spent rather than the fresh, on the man-made rather than the natural. “When I first started this series, I didn’t think of these pictures as still lifes,” he says. “Only after I realized they were still lifes did I think the series was about finding—not deliberately arranging, but painting found objects sometimes in accidental arrangements.” Carsten received his training at the Art Students League in New York City, the Rhode Island School of Design and the Accademia di Belle Arti in Carrara, Italy. Scavenging through recycling plants for the perfect found still life is a compelling adventure for Carsten, “Visually, it’s like going to a toy store.”
“Prairies lack the obvious grandeur of mountain ranges, red-rock canyons or the ocean,” says Lisa Grossman, who was featured in The Artist’s Magazine. “It’s a more subtle beauty that comes to some slowly, but it’s undeniably powerful.” Grossman was inspired by the tallgrass prairie of the Flint Hills. The contrast between the dense, rugged topography of the Connoquenessing Watershed she had left behind and the prairie’s low horizon and wide-open spaces inspired in her an exhilarating sensation of freedom.
Many artists already offer reproductions of their original works in the form of more affordable prints and giclées, but it’s when an image is licensed for use by major publishers or companies nationwide that an artist’s original painting can generate income over and over again through royalties.
Painting objects that have more than one color can be difficult, especially when you’re depicting gradations to show dimension. The task gets even more difficult when the objects, such as petals or drapery folds, are broken up with splashes of light and shadow. You can find yourself with an area where four or more colors come together, all needing to be blended seamlessly.
The two kinds of perspective that artists use are linear and atmospheric (or aerial). Linear perspective uses lines and vanishing points to determine how much an object’s apparent size changes with distance. Atmospheric perspective deals with how the appearance of an object is affected by the space or atmosphere between it and the viewer. Leonardo da Vinci noticed this latter phenomenon and dubbed it “the perspective of disappearance.”