Art Tutorials/General Ideas

This chapter covers a variety of topics that refer less to specific media or concepts, but rather offers questions and suggestions to think about while working.

The value of studies


Not every work an artist creates has to be a finished work.

Returning to a work


Often while creating a work, the artist sees the potential of the work rather than the actuality of the work. This is most true when starting the work since the canvas is blank. However, even as the artist believes the work to be nearing completion, he or she may still be seeing a significant amount of potential.

Similarly, regardless of how much of the work is completed, should the artist leave the work to continue it later, the potential of the work might be forgotten. When returning to the work, the artist might not be able to see the original idea he or she had. This is often the case with artists who work emphatically on a work until completion and then return to the work later only to find the work lacking in some area.

This is a problem with many artists who do not address this issue.

Information Density


Information density is the idea that a visual area has varying amounts of "interesting" information for your brain to process. For example, faces have more visual information for your brain to analyze than a leg. Even on a face, the lower portion containing the nose and mouth has more information than the upper portion containing just the forehead and hair. Since there is less information in some areas, your brain needs less time to process the information to "get a good look" at the subject. Because of this, artists often will also spend less time when drawing less information dense areas and typically make them too small. This is why a lot of lesser skilled artists make foreheads to short, hands too large, etc.

Exercises to deal with this problem are typically some form of contour drawing.