Pearls of Wisdom


This is where we collect insightful, practical, moving, or inspirational quotes and tips from significant artists. The entries should be short enough to contain in a reasonable length paragraph. If you have ones you’d like to submit, you can PM or email one of the Forum Leaders (Steven Stahlberg, Lunatique), and after we check the quote/tip, we’ll add it here.

 [b]Richard Schmid [/b]- "If there is ever a conflict in your mind between what you know and what you are seeing, paint what you see, because if you don't the result will look like something that isn't there."

“We must see the RELATIONSHIPS between colors, the relative visual warmth or coldness of colors to one another in a complex visual field of many colors. The question to be asked in all cases is not what color something is, but rather what color it is COMPARED TO ALL OTHERS AROUND IT.”

“Remember–soft edges in a painting are not an end in themselves. They must be APPROPRIATELY soft and should conform to what you perceive them to be in your subject. That is what will make your edges look authentic. Arbitrarily softening everything is like intentionally mumbling when you speak.”

 "Real drawing is a discipline that must be maintained by constant practice. It is like staying in physical shape. Knowing [i]how [/i]to do it must be accompanied by actually [i]doing[/i] it. Tracing to get the drawing reduces you to the level of a child playing with a coloring book, and it's not as much fun as it was when you were three years old." "When you finish a painting started as a tracing, there will be little sense of achievement, except perhaps for the patience required to color it. Tracing is degrading because you will have denied yourself the freedom to use your own powers of self-expression. Is that really the way anyone should want to be an artist?"
 [b]Tom Browning [/b]- "The shadowed side should not contain any value as light as the darkest value on the lighted side. And the like-wise, the lighted side should not contain any value as dark as the lightest value of the shadowed side."
 "When you mix colors, you are most likely changing hues, values and intensities at the same time."

“So, how simple is a simple palette? The Swedish painter Anders Zorn (1860-1920) was known to have used a palette of black, white, yellow ochre and vermilion. You can’t get much more simple than that. The array of colors that can be mixed from this combination is amazing. And since all of the resulting colors are mixed from the same source, they’re also in harmony.”

 "I can't stress enough the importance of continuing to draw for the sake of drawing, even if you work from photographs."
 "Positive and negative spaces should never be equal in area. One has to dominate."
 "Rhythm and interest are greatly increased by the variation of edges throughout a picture."
 [b]Harley Brown[/b] - "A painting must have a dominant value; either it's light, or it's medium, or it's dark."

“Cast shadows are generally darker and sharper-edged than form shadows. A cast shadow usually becomes lighter, and more soft-edged, the farther is is from the object that’s casting the shadow.”

 [b]Pablo Picasso[/b] - "There are painters who transform the sun to a yellow spot, but there are others who with the help of their art and their intelligence, transform a yellow spot into sun."

(This next quote has been recently discredited as fictional, written as an imaginary confession from Picasso. It’s been very famous for decades and still worth a read)

“From the moment that art ceases to be food that feeds the best minds, the artist can use his talents to perform all the tricks of the intellectual charlatan. Most people can today no longer expect to receive consolation and exaltation from art. The ‘refined,’ the rich, the professional ‘do-nothings’, the distillers of quintessence desire only the peculiar, the sensational, the eccentric, the scandalous in today’s art. I myself, since the advent of Cubism, have fed these fellows what they wanted and satisfied these critics with all the ridiculous ideas that have passed through my mind. The less they understood them, the more they admired me. Through amusing myself with all these absurd farces, I became celebrated, and very rapidly. For a painter, celebrity means sales and consequent affluence. Today, as you know, I am celebrated, I am rich. But when I am alone, I do not have the effrontery to consider myself an artist at all, not in the grand old meaning of the word: Giotto, Titian, Rembrandt, Goya were great painters. I am only a public clown–a mountebank. I have understood my time and have exploited the imbecility, the vanity, the greed of my contemporaries. It is a bitter confession, this confession of mine, more painful than it may seem. But at least and at last it does have the merit of being honest.”

Leonardo da Vinci - “The supreme misfortune is when theory outstrips performance”