4 Stages of an Artist

Posted on May 16, 2016 by Kate Moynihan | 0 comments

This is an interesting concept regarding how an artist can grow and mature into their individual style.

Stage 1.  Realism: Initially the goal is to learn eye-hand coordination. At this beginning stage, the artist transcribes exactly what he sees. Values and lines are transposed with precise control and accuracy. 

Yes, those are my sons! I drew them in Drawing 101 when I returned to college in my thirties. Art has been in my life ever since!

Stage 2.  Motion: Add the next phase of developing as an artist is to capture movement. One way movement can be illustrated is through ‘line quality’ –  the changing characteristics of a line. Picture a thick, heavy line, strong and dynamic. In your mind’s eye, shrink it into a thin and delicate shape. Next, make it wavy. You have just captured the movement of a line. 

Notice how the curves and wiggles in my pen and ink Christmas Card drawing has intriguing movement.

Stage 3.  Suggestion: At this stage the artist subjectively focuses on creating a feeling or idea, rather than an exact transcription of visual reality. This entails abstracting or composing hints of the original subject. Texture, lines, and color created illusions of familiar objects. The term “impressionistic” sums up this stage. Think about Monet’s water lilies. Another example is my landscape below. Not every tree branch is painted, not every flower detail in the foreground is illustrated. This painting of mine is an impression of trees on the horzion.
Stage 4.  Suggestive: Lastly, is ‘non-objective’ where realistic images are avoided. Only 5 basic design elements (weight, direction, texture, discord, color) are projected. This style can be enjoyable to view when you are willing to let yourself get involved in design. It allows you to appreciate an individual’s unique response. 
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