Saturday, September 10, 2011

How to Become a Master

How does one become a master painter?

There is a difference between knowing something and being able to use this knowledge to perform.  Mastery requires both knowledge and performance.  How do we become “masters”? 

1. Seek knowledge – be passionate about learning.
2. Acquire skills – manual, visual and mental
3. Rehearse - practice, practice, practice
4. Seek out constructive critique
5. Correct deficits (think and practice)
6. Become increasing independent from critique
7. Perform masterfully
8. Use mastery for expressive purposes

The Academy of Realist Art, Boston helps students develop skills in draftsmanship and craftsmanship. We work hard at getting students to develop critical thinking skills. We want our graduates to put these elements together with their individual imaginative character and make compelling art.

1. Students come seeking knowledge. We have a systematic way that we introduce our skills; each progressive skill builds on the last skill acquired.

2. While students develop manual skills their visual acuity improves; they can actually see things they weren’t able to see before. This is learning by doing. For example by rendering very small shifts in the light value of an object students perceive subtle values that previously they didn’t even know were there.

3.  We have an ongoing dialog about thought process and visual analysis. For example we talk about the way the 2-dimensional paper may be used to create the illusion of a 3-dimensional world, convexity versus concavity, perspective...

4. Students learn to develop strategies to help them find the errors in their work. When students can self-correct they develop independence. An example of this is the use of anamorphic shapes.

5. Students regularly receive constructive critique from instructors. Additionally, fellow students are a great resource because everyone has done all the same assignments; they can share their problem solving strategies.

6. Introductory assignments in each level of the program teach students new concepts and skills. The last assignment in each level of the program offers the student the opportunity to demonstrate their independence and mastery.

7. A respectful, supportive environment encourages students to express their thoughts.   We look forward to having conversations that help individuals to develop their imagination.

The cold hard truth about great art is that it requires a lot of work and dedication. The only way a student can stick with it is if they have a passion for learning new things and a desire to be the best that they can. This mixed with imagination and intelligent thought makes an artist.  At the Academy we’re motivated by having the opportunity to help prepare students to make “masterful” paintings.  

1 comment:

  1. Hi.

    I was wondering if you could help me. I am a bit puzzled by your use of the word 'anamorphic' at point 4. Would you mind explaining briefly, how you use this to check drawings. I understand what anamorphism is in principle, but I'm confused about how it is used to check art work.

    Many thanks

    South Devon