Article by John Huges, August 10, 2018
When I started teaching painting years ago, the first hurdle I had to jump was organizing my thoughts about creating art. In doing so, I felt that I would be in a better position to present this information in a clear and understandable format. Just that alone forced me to be a better painter, but more importantly, pointed me to the realization that I had gaps in my own learning that needed to be filled. As I taught, I learned, and as I learned, I taught, and so it goes to this day!
My first approach was to teach the tools of painting, (drawing, color, value edges, and brushwork), which I’ve written about extensively over the years and more recently in a series of articles that started on May 24, 2017, in Outdoor Painter, for PleinAir. As I grew artistically, along with my understanding of teaching I began to sense that teaching the tools by themselves was not enough; there was something missing. The missing part was light and design. Yes, I had taught these in conjunction with the tools before, but it was always done as an incidental component, and I don’t feel that I gave these two huge concepts the attention they rightly deserve. Quite frankly, they are the glue that holds every good painting together and, conversely, is the reason some paintings fall apart! This summer I added two more elements to the painting process, because of discussions and thoughts that I had with my painting buddy, John Poon. These two important elements are concept and a solid painting procedure. So, my approach to painting and teaching are constantly growing, and that’s the way I like it.
The rubric of learning now looks like this:
2 – Light
3 – Design
4 – The Tools (drawing, color, value, edges, and brushwork)
5 – Painting Procedure
The Louisville Art Association is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the visual arts in our community and state wide.