The Vitality of the Visual Arts

According to PayScale databases, a lawyer in 2016 will make anywhere from $120,000-$163,576 more than the average fine artist holding a MFA and having received the same amount of schooling.

This isn't bias discrimination- this is reality.

Religion, culture, psychology, the community, education, the workplace.

These are some areas that are heavily influenced by the visual arts- just to name a few.

Is it just a luxury? Impractical? Losing its relevance?

Any glimpse into society proves otherwise.

But how do we fix it?

I'm glad you asked.

It's simple really- education.

Education is the key to displaying that which is misunderstood and influencing change.

Not important? Not appreciated?

More like misunderstood.

Visual communication is the most powerful yet overlooked form of interaction we have, but education provides the resources necessary to understand this disconnect and therefore appreciate the importance of the visual arts.

For the most part, society believes in arts importance.

However, the gradual defunding, dismissal and misunderstanding of art shows otherwise.

People can't be blamed for this. You only appreciate what you truly understand.

The problem? Art is misunderstood.

Much like this back alley parking lot, art is slowly becoming more and more overlooked.

But what if there was an answer?

What if there was education?

Let's take a journey through the process of painting a quality oil piece, shall we?

First up, we gather our supplies.

Next, we sketch out our vision.

We brainstorm.

Graphite Pencils, Stretched and primed cotton canvas
Odorless Turpentine, Brush Cleaner/Storer, Linseed Oil

Paint is essential. After all, it's a painting.

Glass Palette, Artist's Loft and Winston Oil paint

Now that your vision is sketched out, its time to block in your base layer.

This neutralizes and creates an underlying tone that sets the temperature for your piece.

*Note: Even the pigment on the palette is set up in a certain order. Paint is placed on the glass from dark to light, from left to right.
Sponges and Ruler

Once the base layer is applied thinly, the artist can locate their sketch marks.

Go over the sketch lines with a thin layer of white paint.

This outlines and gives more opportunity for the artist to further develop proportion, placement, and overall composition for the piece.

Mixed base tone and application of white outlines

Once this step is finalized, the artist can begin to apply the next few layers of paint.

However, an artist is only as good as their tools-

So enjoy some aesthetically pleasing shots of the brushes.

Amethyst Multi-Medium paint brushes

From there, the artist can study their environment or photo to identify the shadow areas.

Especially when it comes to repetitive patterns, better to simplify than to be exact.

The impression of brick looks much more realistic thanks to the proper placement of shadow/light areas.

*Note: One should always be sure to spend more time observing their subject than observing their piece.

Next, block in the shadow areas of foliage and stone.

Be observant of it's placement- no stroke of the brush is an accident.

Then go in and add middle tones.

These make up the majority of the foliage and brick in this piece.

Finally, add highlights and details.

This aids in tying your piece together to achieve a more completed look.

Lastly, clean the work station.

Properly dispose of chemicals used and be sure to take thorough care of your tools.

Properly cleaning paint brushes is vital to their longevity.

Winsor & Newton Glossy Varnishing Spray
Congratulations! A masterpiece is yours.

Spray with a thin coat of varnish to seal and sign your name!

All the hours, cost of supplies, investment of their wear and tear, prepping and clean up have led you here!

So...the irony?

Without being shown what you have seen, and without being taught to understand-

You have no way of knowing the why and how the visual arts influence us the way they do.

Visual communication is the most powerful form of communication we have- and quite frankly- we can't afford to lose it.

If we want to see the fine arts continue to be passed on and preserved so that we can enjoy the vital benefits they bring to society-

Then we must take action in order to understand.

Sound good?

Great. Let's do it.

Made with Adobe Slate

Make your words and images move.

Get Slate

Report Abuse

If you feel that this video content violates the Adobe Terms of Use, you may report this content by filling out this quick form.

To report a Copyright Violation, please follow Section 17 in the Terms of Use.