Amanda Hy­att

PART 11 How to Paint a Prize-win­ning Paint­ing

International Artist - - Contents - Amanda Hy­att

Lessons in Water­colour Part 11How to Paint a Prize-win­ning Paint­ing

Look­ing back at my ca­reer as a pro­fes­sional artist, I find im­ages of paint­ings I did as a raw be­gin­ner in 1978. They are need­less to say quite sur­pris­ingly dif­fer­ent from what I paint now. There are dif­fer­ences in the brush­strokes, paint thick­nesses, colour choices, sub­ject mat­ter, loose­ness, de­tail and fin­ish. Ev­ery­body, even da Vinci, was once a raw be­gin­ner. Not many painters ex­e­cute a mas­ter­piece at their first at­tempt. Of course there are flukes, quirks, lucky breaks, happy ac­ci­dents, for­tu­itous good luck and the sheer un­pre­dictabil­ity that water­colour has of of­fer­ing up an op­por­tu­nity for mir­a­cles, but gen­er­ally it takes prac­tice to con­sis­tently pull off work of a sat­is­fy­ing, ma­ture and evolv­ing na­ture. In golf a hole-in-one has a sub­stan­tial com­bi­na­tion of luck and skill, as does a mas­ter­piece.

Most artist’s early work is very laboured, de­tailed and cor­rect. And bor­ing. When look­ing at Turner’s early work one is slightly dis­ap­pointed that he fol­lowed the tra­di­tional line draw­ing and ar­chi­tec­tural ap­proach be­cause we have come to take for granted the as­sump­tion that he al­ways worked so loosely and spon­ta­neously. One wants to be­lieve he was al­ways so lib­er­ated with his art from the be­gin­ning but re­alise that he be­gan where we all be­ the “fill in the line” draw­ing. This early ten­dency to be cor­rect is how­ever nec­es­sary to be­gin to be­come an artist as we all have to start some­where. But be­ing an artist is so much more than “fill­ing in the lines.” Dur­ing the jour­ney of be­com­ing an artist, prac­tice im­proves ones skill lev­els up to a point then per­son­al­ity, in­volve­ment, ded­i­ca­tion, com­mit­ment, en­ergy, pas­sion and emo­tion take the work to much higher lev­els where the artist is truly one with the cre­ative process, aban­don­ing rules, lines, cor­rect­ness and se­cu­rity to be­come spon­ta­neous in han­dling water­colour. A real piece of art is not just a copy of your sub­ject but rather your own in­ter­pre­ta­tion, abil­ity, skill, in­tel­lect and sen­si­tiv­ity ap­plied to it.

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