Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Practice, Practice, and more Practice

Couple of days ago I blogged on being stuck. Trying to get unstuck is what this entry is all about.

I have been told countless times and read countless articles that the way to better your artistic skills is through practice, practice, and more practice. I have come to the conclusion that, that statement is totally true and unless I “bite the bullet” and work on a painting EVERY day I will never reach the level of expertise that I aspire to. That being said, I put a little 9x14 practice oil painting that I’ve been working on off and on for a few months back on my easel in an attempt to finish it. It is a study of a painting done by William Bouguereau ”Petite fille au bouquet.” William Bouguereau is a master of the arts who was not only a painter, but a teacher, frescoist (Someone who paints on a surface of plaster esp. while it is still moist. I had to look up that word.), and draftsman as well. He lived from 1825 – 1905 and is considered one of history’s greatest artistic geniuses.

Anyway, to break this block that I’ve been experiencing I am trying to finish this painting.

Because I want to better my portraiture skills, I decided to do just the head and shoulders of his wonderful painting, which I will post below. Sorry couldn't get the picture any larger.

Petite fille au bouquet
By William Bouguereau

My version looks older, but that’s what practice is about. Practice until you get it right. And too, maybe this little bit of doing will get the artistic juices flowing again.

FYI…For those of you who may not know, you can find this artist’s work and all of the great masters at http://www.artrenewal.org.

Mahalo for visiting.

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  1. I think this is wonderful Lokelani! You should be proud of how well you were able to replicate her sweet look.

  2. Thanks Sheila. Getting canvases ready for more practice work.

  3. Great idea Lokelani. I met an artist a few weeks ago and 90% of her work were copies from old masters. Her house was a gallery! Copies of Rembrandt, Velazquez, Titian and Corot and even jack Vettriano. It was quite amazing, but in copying she had learnt so much. Some of her studies of dancers were just fantastic. Now I would like to copy a van gogh....

  4. great work! I am glad that you are going to be working everyday. You will not believe how much improvement you will experience! I love this painting..you've done very well.

  5. Bravo!
    Painting a Bouguereau is "grabbin' the bull by the horns!"
    I love his art. You're doing great on this piece.
    Anyone painting a Bouguereau comes away having
    learned something.
    Your painting has feeling and charm!

  6. Sam, Celeste and Bill...thanks so much for visiting my blog and commenting. I really do appreciate your comments and encouragement and will work toward disciplining my self and commit to practicing each day.

  7. love what you have done with this painting so far and a great way to reflect on what you do in painting by walking in in the steps of masters. there was just one problem i found, i did so much that i lost confidence in my instinct. now i do it once in a long while. looking forward to seeing the final. r.

  8. Rahina...thanks so much for coming by my blog. I get what you mean about "lost confidence in instinct." One must be careful when replicating the masters that you don't lose your own style.

  9. Looks great - I think this is a great idea of things to do when one is stuck - are you using the technique of painting on wet plaster?

  10. Lisa...thanks for stopping by. I appreciate your encouraging comment. No, I am not doing it on wet plaster. I'm just using the tried and true stretched canvas. Haven't stepped outside the box yet.

  11. This is beautiful, can't wait to see it progress. I would encourage anyone and everyone to paint daily if possible. I went through hundreds of canvas boards practicing, painted lots of still lifes quickly and moved onto another. Always learning. Just love it. Thank you for visiting my blog, I'll be back.

  12. Hi Barbara...Thanks for stopping by and your kind comment. Yes, I think it does pay to paint everyday if at all possible. Because this is a practice piece, I'm calling it done and moving on to another Bouguereau. I started another piece today, drew it yesterday, for a show that's coming up with my church. Plan to blog it and show the progression.

  13. Lokelani - Your rendition is quite stunning! I can't wait to see it as it progresses. Thanks for visiting my site - nice to meet a fellow blogging artist!

  14. You captured the expression perfectly!
    Very nicely done!

  15. Julia and Sadia: Thanks so much for stopping by my blog. I so enjoy meeting other artists and being able to browse their art. Helps me to learn.

  16. Great job, Lokelani! Love what you did with the hair. I try to do something in the studio every day. If not paint, sketch, edit photos, cut a mat - something "arty"...Some days it takes discipline but you are on the right path with practice, practice, practice!

    Can't wait to see what you are painting for the show at your church.

  17. Thank you so much Rosemary. I will be posting my beginnings of that piece today.