This blog is dedicated to art studies. The purpose is to determine what studies lead to improvement of one's artistic ability. I will be the test subject to determine, as empirically as possible what studies work and what do not. I am not an authority on art instruction, nor have I ever been a teacher or tutor. I am just a man who has dedicated years to the improvement of my artistic ability. As a self-taught artist, I have learned first hand what studies have worked for me and what has been less effective. It is my hope that by keeping detailed records of my studies I will provide a valuable resource for artists and instructors. I also hope others will contribute with critiques and studies of their own. Ideally this will be a place we can all help each other grow artistically.
I will report on my studies in as much detail as possible. I will report the medium I used, the model or subject, the process, and the amount of time it took. Most importantly, I will discuss the purpose of the study. Purpose is what separates a study from any other work of art. I will include the knowledge I am applying to the study, and what I how I hope to improve as a result. My goal is that an artist on the other side of the world would be able to recreate the study provided they had access to similar materials and subjects. This way one can critique not only the final piece but the process that went into producing it.
I believe improvement in artistic ability requires two elements: knowledge and practice. Knowledge meaning an artistic concept such as: anatomy, perspective, or construction. Practice is the experience of using the concept until it becomes integrated into ones ability. Real improvement cannot happen with the absence of either element. One can practice many hours and see improvement. However, without integrating new knowledge into ones practice improvement will stagnate. Repeating the same practice indefinitely will lead to the same results. Conversely, knowledge does not lead to improvement without putting it into practice. One can memorize the names and placement of all the muscles and bones in the human body, but without practice drawing them, this knowledge will be of little use. In my studies I am to focus on the meeting of these two elements where knowledge is put into practice and becomes ability.