Local Heart, Global Soul

December 8, 2019

Capturing Artistic Talent…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

As someone who leaned towards Printing as my artistic medium of choice, I was well aquatinted with working in, for instance the fine scratched lines of etching.

I could then add aquatint to produce “shading”, or in a different technique, work backwards printing from dark to light using the mezzotint method.

Adding colour to intaglio (Etching, drypoint etc), relief (linocut, woodcut) mono prints, or lithographic ones was something I generally did with a roller rather than a brush.

That colour was then kind of smeared onto the print for me by the printing press.

I never got around to screen printing, although it’s on my “one day” wish-list.

When I was required to exhibit technique in a painted medium, I did so using Gouache because it was quick drying and perfect for painting in layers to build up detail.

Water colour and oils were something I secretly feared (still do) but also want to one day master.

At the moment I am trying to just get back into drawing again, pencil, pens, ink being safe and comfortable so far, except that I am incredibly out of practice.

Many people think that artistic people “have talent” and whilst this may be true to some extent (depending on how you define “talent”), few realise that drawing is actually an acquired skill, meaning the more you practice the better you get at it.

My personal opinion is that some people are drawn to more naturally inclined to pick up a pencil than others, in the same way some people love to curl up with a book next to a fire on a snowy afternoon, and hate the thought of going outdoors.

Other people just have to get outside and enjoy the cold, skiing, tobogganing, building snowmen, snowboarding, whatever.

This is more the character of the person than the “talent”, for example: if you gave even the most “non-arty” person lessons, guidance and enough hours of practice (many, many, many, hours), everyone could easily recognise that they had artistic “talent” in the way that the general public perceives it.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The key is the inclination to sit down and put in the hours of practice that it takes to get good at art.

For some that inclination comes far more easily than for others.

Self doubt is also one of the biggest factors; generally kids give up drawing at a fairly young age.

They look at the work of their peers who are naturally inclined to practice and then look at their own work, deciding that they must not have any “talent” at all.

If I ruled the world and had my way, I would put the most amazing, inspirational art teachers into schools at this young age, teaching technique, getting kids to practice, practice and practice.

The rate of improvement would skyrocket and art as a “genre” would influence many other things.

The patience and imagination that was demonstrated in their art world, would spur advances in many other technical fields.

Design would flourish, people would appreciate beauty more, possibly even rates of suicide and depression might drop as people had the outlet to unwind at an easel, sketchbook, printing press and the like.

People might be swapping anti-depressants pills for a simple pen and paper, enjoying sketching outdoors and producing something beautiful.

Well, that’s my opinion at least. Now all I have to do is to overcome my fear, sketch a heap of leaves and attempt to add colour with water colour paint. Who, knows, give me time to practice a ton and I might even produce something that tells a little voice inside me “you might have a tiny spark of talent after all”.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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