I watch a lot of painting demos these days, looking for Procreate tips. Digital painting may have a similar perceptive core, but the execution is different. Few videos are as serene and revealing as this one of Studio Ghibli background artist Osamu Masuyama painting a sky and landscape.
This is one of the traditional ways art is taught in school. You watch a master work up a painting or drawing, and you try to do what they do on your own. Most of art, any art, is practice, I believe. There are techniques that will save you time, and specific exercises that can give you facility with the work, but time and effort is the biggest factor in anyone’s level of ability. Talent only goes so far.
This new story about conservator Mary Schafer’s discovery of parts of a grasshopper stuck in one of Van Gogh’s olive tree paintings is one of those amusing trifles that, at once, is publicity for an event, and a glimpse into the past of a great artist’s process. It’s also a reminder that life is messy and the things we do are all jumbled together with everyone else’s things.
I mean, it could be used for the frothing kind of inspiration that abounds in motivational circles: IF SOMETHING GETS IN YOUR WAY, PAINT OVER IT! But it’s really just that Vincent wasn’t so precious about his work that he cared if a little dust or a bug got stuck in a painting now and then. In a way, it puts us all on notice that art is more than the materials we make it out of.