It all starts with boxes. In my many years of painting (over 40) and nearly as many teaching, I have discovered what 90% of the artists I worked with (and myself) stumbled over; what gave us the most grief. These points are covered in my workbook “What’s It All About”. There comes a time when we paint, that we figure out it isn’t about painting inside the lines! It’s about exciting compositions and the interplay of values and shapes, created through shading, color and texture that make amazing works of art. What we ultimately realize that we are building the images in our paintings without depending on the drawn line. That leads to a recognition of how well do we understand how to build our images with paint, instead of depending on the drawn line to describe an image. Which leads to the question of how well do you understand how to build the structure you’re painting? If you’re painting realism, dimensional form and perspective are all wrapped up in everything architectural in our world today.
And everything architectural relates back to boxes. Tackle boxes, of all shapes and sizes, and you’ll get a better grasp on building that nostalgic house or town you discovered not too long ago.
Stop into Michael’s Art Store or Hobby Lobby and pick up some (very affordable) boxes and starting drawing them.
And guess what? You’ll be able to do complex structures. After that, learning to do the same thing in paint alone.
Think about shoes and/or hats. They’re boxes too. Laces and straps, high heels on shoes, ribbons and flowers on the hats, come from knowing what to do with ribbons (https://maggiemcclellan.com/2016/08/why-ribbons/).