Learn About Art
& Drawing Techniques
Professor Karl May
Drawings are based on lines. It does not matter what kind
of material is used, whether pen, charcoal or brush. I
used oil thinned with turpentine. In special cases tar
thinned with turpentine, resulting in a sepia appearance.
When thinned with turpentine, the oil paint runes somewhat
and makes the contour look larger and softer.
TECHNIQUE, PASTEL, GOUACHE
these are transparent colours and water is added
to the binding element.
water is also added to the binding medium, but
the paint is opaque in special combination with
this is a technique which can only be done with
a soft-coloured pencil, resulting in soft, mat-looking
tones in comparison with oil crayon, which is
bright, fat, and shiny.
Handprints offer the artist a good opportunity to express
his inspiration or abilities. The outstanding feature
here is the use of a rough Japanese rice paper. The
figures are cut from cardboard and painted with latex
or oil paint. Starting effects may be obtained through
individual techniques as the freshly painted cardboard
is pressed by hand onto the wet Japanese rice paper.
In this way the artist is free to bring out the finer
shades where it is desirable, or screen or veil as required.
many years tar has been taken out of the paint market
because of its tendency to darken colours in their combination
with other paints.
Before acrylics were discovered, the painter could only
use oil colour or a combination of egg tempera and oil.
Acrylic is an invention of modern painting technique,
with the one main difference that the thinning medium
is water instead of oil. Acrylic is now being used by
Collage permits the use of any material, wood in combination
with glass or textile or anything that has character,
such as a piece of wood with a smooth texture or another
one with a rougher surface. The important point in collage
is that the artist be able to speak and feel the languages
of the chosen material and to enhance its individuality
and characteristics. In this way the artist can reveal
his ability to combine various materials in a creative
way. For example, the fashion designer would take silk,
velvet, burlap, brocade, lace, etc.; the architect takes
building materials like roofing paper, tar, sawdust,
etc., and so also can the artist use all these various
materials and many more to express his inventive talents
in a collage.
Hinterglas or "behind-glass" painting is the
sister of the art of glass painting. In the latter,
the paint is translucent (as in cathedral windows) and
in the former it is opaque. Although it is almost impossible
to trace the origin of this form of painting, as an
art of particular interest to the West it started in
the 1500s in Germany, Italy, Austria, the Netherlands,
and Spain. It reached its peak during the 16th Century.
Essentially a folk art, the technique was practiced
where glass was produced, i.e. in forest-rich areas
where wood was an important heating element (Riesengebirge,
Bohemia, the Alps). The paintings were usually made
by workmen in glass factories during their spare time,
as a hobby so to speak and, according to their way of
thinking and traditions, the themes were usually religious
It is in drawing that the painter shows that he really
knows his art, for drawing is the basis of any painting.
This might sound old fashioned or academic, but it has
been proven over the centuries that the greatest masters
in painting were always the most skillful in the execution
of drawing. During my various artistic stages or periods
I always went back to the study of animals, because
there I had to draw movements quickly in order to express
the animal's mood in a proper manner.
Assessment of a piece of Art
By Art Historian Dr. Phil H.G. Buschmann
Which are the most important points when trying to asses
a painting? Assessing a painting depends largely on the
ability to actually see, perceive and understand.
It is important to see the diversity of shapes, which
are the rudimentary part of a painting. Geometric shapes
such as the circle, the triangle and the square
are the basics of painting-composition. Very much equal
to geometric shapes is colour. Colour strongly influences
the frame of mind, the mood and expression of comprehensive
creation and variation. Many contemporary painters have
used colours wildly and radically.
other features are important when looking at a painting?
stylistic harmony, grace, charm and feeling, drama and movement
make a painting complete.
course, also fashion and zeitgeist, the prevailing
spirit of the times exert a strong influence on a piece
of art. The upbringing, the artistic background of
a painter as well as his reputation are, in addition
to the already mentioned facts, a basis for art dealers
to determine a realistic sale price.
is also highly important for an artist to be marketed well
and sucessfully. It is indeed most unfortunate that numerous
exceedingly valuable works of art are never seen, because
they are just not discovered to be shown to the public.
How is the content of an abstract painting to be understood?
Each artist creates his own form of expression or as it
were, his language which he recreates on the canvas.
Every line, every space and the interaction of light and
shadow are a direct expression of his art. He, who wishes
to understand the painting must try and comprehend these
forms of expression since an artist sees -"PAINTS"-
that which others only feel or envisage but are incapable
of actually seeing. What then really is art?
Well, since the fantasy of a painter often exceeds the narrow
confines of our imagination, art cannot be constrained by
set rules or limits and restrictions. More often than not,
a painter is way ahead of our time and is a prophet
leading to the future. These visions mostly elude the ordinary
viewer since he is imprisoned in the reality of his own
world. To be able to identify a contemporary painting as
a valuable object, it is necessary to have fantasy, exhilaration
and vision into the future.
For art lovers, art represents not just an investment but
also it's an expression of beauty and inspiration with which
he lovingly surrounds himself!