What makes the Old Masters work so impactful and timeless? What was their secret? Did they have a magic medium that infused their colors with light? Were their handmade brushes designed to produce the life-like texture of porcelain, flesh, foliage or any other subject which they painted? How could their drawings be so flawless? They HAD to have somehow traced their images, right!? These are all questions which many artists (including myself) have pondered at one time or another.
I’ve spent the past 25 years or so, studying the techniques of the Old Masters and have discovered that all of their skills combined is what makes their artwork so incredible. It is not the result of one thing. First they mastered drawing. Then they mastered creating the illusion of light and shadow with pencil or charcoal. Then they learned how to create the same illusion with paint. Then they explored color and color relationships, which resulted in creating the illusion of light, space and atmosphere. Each part was mastered at a specific stage within their pedagogy. As they began to develop their “artistic vocabulary” their work began to take on a realistic representation of whatever subject they were trying to portray. Therefore the portrayal of any subject, can only be realized as a direct result of the level of mastery of each skill which comprises an artist’s personal language.
The good news is that ANY of these skills can be learned. Mastery, however only comes with practice. I’ve spent many years learning about AND practicing each of these skills, and have developed exercises which will allow anyone else to learn them. I’ve researched the pedagogical systems which were used to train artists attending the ecole des beaux-arts in Paris during the turn of the 19th Century. This system produced some of the most successful realist artists in history.
My goal, as a teacher is to raise that veil that conceals those pedagogical systems. This is something that most art schools WILL NOT teach, and it leaves so many young, aspiring artists who are interested in improving their skills in the dark. I also want to destroy the idea that these techniques are a thing of the past. As a contemporary artist, it is important to understand that the history of art can teach us a great deal, as long as an artist maintains a fresh outlook. It is incredibly foolish to think that he or she can’t benefit by studying the techniques of our predecessors, in the fear that it will make his or her work less original. It isn’t the technique which makes a work of art original or unoriginal, it is the idea or lack thereof. What one chooses to do with their art language is what makes their art phenomenal!
I offer many classes, both privately and through non-profit organizations which can be found at http://www.riverafinearts.com. If you are interested in learning how to take your art to the next level, I know that I could help. Please feel free to visit my site http://www.riverafinearts.com, and take a look at what I offer.