Imagine I showed you this painting of the Nightwatchmen by Rembrandt, and asked you to recreate it as accurately as you can, in whatever medium you choose.
Now if you're an advanced artist, just go along with me on this! But if you're an absolute beginner you would likely present me with a single exclamation..
"I wouldn't even know where to begin!"
Indeed! There is simply so much going on in the painting...from the mastery of the human figure to the understanding of light and shadow, to the symbolic use of colour and mastery of perspective..It's too much to take in all at once!
The learning of art can be treated in quite a linear fashion. If you can draw a line, you can construct a box. Once you've mastered the drawing of boxes, you can master other forms. Once there, you can turn those forms into objects. Know how to apply light and shadow to a cube? Congratulations! You're half way towards painting an urban landscape!
Art is not a single gargantuan task to learn all at once. It is a series of small disciplines to master that will come together to form a coherent and competent image. Perspective will establish an objects location in space, value will establish it's light and environment, while colour will establish anything from mood to style etc.
If this seems overwhelming, it really doesn't need to be. Stick with it, and learn one single step at a time. That old adage of learning to walk before you can run applies perfectly here. Unfortunately many people treat art and the ability to create as something inaccessible, and something reserved for those born with a mystical gift of the ability to make art. To those people I say this..
The ability to draw is *not a talent*. It is not a birthright that some possess, and others don't. Like anything else, It is a skill to be learned, and not only is it an insult to tell someone who has never picked up a pencil that they will never gain the ability to create art, it's a disservice to a great and established artist to brush away the years of diligent study and sweat by attributing all that hard work to 'talent'. There are of course those few in any field whose abilities are so far above the norm that their sheer ability seems unreachable, but even they were not born with the abilities they possess. You could spend every day of your life training to be a runner, but that's no guarantee you'll be the next Usain Bolt. But even the most unfit individual with the right amount of dedication can become a great and inspirational athlete. And in some way, isn't that even more impressive? :)
So, with the introduction out of the way, tomorrow I will be starting the first part of a series of tutorials on my way of drawing and painting, the first being an introduction to perspective and how to apply form drawing to real life. I've never attempted something like this before, and I like any other artist am still *far* from having mastered my subject, so any criticisms or comments are always welcome, along with any suggestions or contributions! And thank you for reading this far!