Thursday, April 19, 2007
Hanoi’s exciting art scene
I just came back from a fascinating trip to Southeast Asia, including ten days in Vietnam. We found the art scene in Hanoi to be particularly exciting, with lots of galleries showing young artists’ work, like the Mai Gallery which has several branches in the old quarter of Hanoi. Much of the art is evocative of the people and landscape of this endlessly interesting country.
Friday, April 13, 2007
Helpful Hints for the Artist #8
Composing a Landscape
When you are looking at a landscape, it may be a problem deciding where the “edges” come, where the picture should begin and end. An easy solution to this can be a homemade viewfinder which is nothing more than a piece of card with a rectangular hole cut in the middle. Alternatively the viewfinder of a camera can be used. And it is always worthwhile to bear in mind that pictures can be vertical (known as “portrait” shape) instead of horizontal (“landscape” shape).
This will help you see not only in composition but also in relating the elements to each other, helping you to see in tones rather than shapes. Sometimes tones seem to be overwhelming, and it helps to half-close your eyes, so that although the details is lost the broad masses are more easily differentiated.
Perhaps most important, remember that when drawing landscape—or any other subject, for that matter—put down what you can see and not what you know is there. Rely on your eyes and the messages they’re sending you.
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