Seeking Beauty to Fix a Slump
When I need a boost of double-shot inspiration, I look at some of the amazing figurative watercolor artists posting their gorgeous work online. And thank goodness they’re taking time to snap and share imagery, or video-record their process, because I rely on those “stop-me-in-my-scroll” power-boosts to shove me out of an art-making slump. Looking at work galaxies ahead of your own is inspiring to some, and overwhelming to others. Which are you?
Here’s a few figurative watercolor painters I follow on social media that make me sprint to my art supplies to get back to work, and PRACTICE. I lean towards representational art, but I like expressionist and abstract too. Who do you follow in the figurative watercolor space? (I haven’t forgotten about the printmaker list we talked about in this post. I’ll be getting that to you soon.)
Have a look at these wonderful Figurative Painters: Ali Cavanaugh – Leo Dolfini – Reina Yamata – Benjamin Bjorklund – Humid Peach – Boa Pham – Suzie Tse – Marcos Beccari – Nicolas Uribe – Charles Reid – Mary Whyte – Stephen Scott Young
Some of the artists in this list work in other media too, but all of them feature figurative watercolors (or gouache) on their website or their social media feed. The inspiration is there for the taking, and it’s on our shoulders to choose how to absorb the hard earned magic they’re sharing. Inspired, or Envious? Or both? ???
Figurative Watercolor Artist Library
After downsizing, and moving a couple of times, I surveyed the resources accessible online, and thinned my art book library. After dropping off boxes of art books at our local high school, I still have a full book case (or two) of reference and inspirational art books. (Do you rotate or recycle your art books?) I cherish my recently reduced library. I’d put those volumes in the Must Be Saved if there’s a fire category. What are your favorite instructional or inspirational books for figurative watercolor painting? Did a particular directive or photo-process demo in one of your books move the needle forward in your painting practice? Here are some of my favorite figure drawing and painting books:
Brush Up on your Figurative Art
Youtube is an amazing resource for artists looking to polish skills, or learn about new tools, tips and tricks in the studio. Here are some great figure drawing tutorial videos to give your art-learning brain a little nudge and a fresh-up:
- Human Figure Proportions from Drawing Art Academy
- How to Draw the Human Figure using a wooden Mannequin by Alfonso Dunn
- Drawing in the San Diego Museum of Art with Cesar Santos and Proko
Skill Building Face to Face or Online?
I heard a couple of artists venting about peers who say “Oh, I don’t know how to do that.” referring to painting, blogging, or setting up an Etsy Shop. Their response was “These days, not knowing how to do something is a choice. You can learn how to do almost anything online. If you don’t know “how” to do it, and you aren’t pursuing free instruction, you simply don’t want to do it.” What do you think of that statement? Is not knowing how to do something reason enough to not do it in these times? The old saying Can’t Lives on Won’t Street was a phrase in our house growing up, and we were expected to solve problems rather than buckling under the burden of them. But resourcefulness and courage to tackle new things on your own is a character trait that some folks simply don’t have. It’s a tricky thing, but I’m curious about your take on it – for yourself and for others you know. Are you a self-starting pursuer of know-how?
Thanks for stopping by today, and I’ll see you in the next post.
Make something soon,
P.S. Have a look at this art studio board on Pinterest
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Working from life is faster than using photos. All the colors and values are right there, so you just lay it down. When I’m working from studies and photos on large, multi-person compositions, I’m always 2nd guessing: what was that color at the curve of their chin?, etc. There’s a lot of doing and re-doing, trying to remember all the subtleties that are only visible from life, so it’s actually slower.