The Art of Charles Sovek
Gallery Publications Workshops Speaking of Art Biography Feedback Home

Lessons from the Easel

Self-portraitWhen I first thought about doing this page, my wife, Peggy, suggested I call it "Lessons from the Ego"! I am biting off 3 huge topics, each open to all sorts of debate. But why not? I love to teach, have spent a lifetime painting, writing and exploring the world of art and the idea that even if a few kernels of the bits and pieces of information I've acquired could help somebody paint a better picture, the project would be justified. So with respect and humility, let's begin with the basics, rejoice in seeing what's under the sun and try to understand why a masterpiece is a masterpiece.

Lesson Thumbnail
(Click on image
for Lesson index)

THE BASICS

I began learning the basics back in the mid 1950s from a crabby but gifted Russian who taught life drawing at the old Art Institute of Pittsburgh. "Zee lines!" he would shout. "Zee lines have to be simpler!" But it was in California, at the Art Center College of Design in the late 1950s, that I received a true lion's share of the basics. Massing-in, warms and cools, edges and patterns were but a few concepts of the litany of procedures that were drummed into our impressionable minds. Again, fine instructors all, many being working professionals who devoted a day or two a week to teach and generously pass on many of the wonderful ideas that, to this day, I still cherish. Add to this more years at the Art Student's League of New York, private sessions with established painters always willing to give some pointers to an aspiring young artist, millions of written words, thousands of pictures and untold hours of roaming through museums and galleries. The result is who I am today as a painter. And just as I was generously given to, I pass on to you, aspiring artist, ideas that will hopefully open some doors. But remember, while principles and concepts are fine, it's your gut instincts that are going to propel you to uniqueness.

PAINTING ANYTHING UNDER THE SUN

 

WHY THIS PAINTING WORKS

Lesson Thumbnail
(Click on image
for Lesson index)
The sun illuminates our visual world and the sport of trying to capture it in our paintings can be a totally invigorating pursuit. The myriad of moods caused by the effects of light can range from somber, mysterious and severe to lush, striking and serendipitous. A neverending quest, catching light is what makes a painter's world go around.
Lesson thumbnail
(Click on image
for Lesson index)
It's one thing to look at a masterpiece and another to really see it. By duplicating a picture you admire you can't help but "see" what makes the painting tick. Even a sketchy 30 minute study can teach you more about the architecture of a composition than hours of simply looking at the work. The following copies and diagrams are based on my own favorite masters. Study and learn but also start analyzing your own personal favorites.

Home | Gallery | Workshops | Speaking of Art | Biography |Feedback

Copyright © 2016 - All Rights Reserved - Charles Sovek