What Makes Great Art?
Well as we all know, art is ultimately a subjective experience. However, as an artist with years of experience…with both great and poor results, here are some bullet points as to what I believe makes Great Art…regardless of your tastes.
- Technical ability. As you can see with my paintings, my sports art is quite detailed and gives the viewer a very accurate depiction of the scene. While I’m also a big fan of contemporary art, when you are creating realistic scenes, one’s ability to draw, understand color, and ultimately painting technique are paramount.
- Layout and balance. It’s important to create a focal point in any painting and balance it with a combination of details and more void space. This is probably the hardest tip to explain as it’s taken myself years to totally master, but it’s almost something you can test by comparing both visually pleasing and not-so-pleasing art.
- Color and contrast. Understanding color in paint and how to mix it is imperative. Not doing this correctly can lead to a “muddy” palette. Also, the use of contrast will set your piece a part. When I say contrast, I mean the use of light and dark tones next to each other to highlight the important subjects.
- Creativity and flow. While a lot of my sports scenes look very realistic, a lot of creativity and flow was put in to the collage like pieces. Take for example, my “Byron Nelson at Augusta” painting. I found 3 complimentary images of Mr. Nelson and laid them out (again layout and balance) so that each scene fit well on the canvas and all flowed together. In order to avoid it looking like 3 broken up images, I softened the edges of the scenes with the paint and blended them in to the adjacent area. In other words, I didn’t just paint what I saw, I used creativity to compose a painting!
These are just a few tips for now. Happy painting!