How To Create More Dynamic Art

Before you ask, let me define what I mean by dynamic art.

The dictionary says the word "dynamic" derives from the Greek word dynamikos, meaning powerful.

I'm willing to bet that almost every artist or aspiring artist longs to produce work that is powerful. Work that grabs a viewer's attention and never lets go.

For me one of the great examples of dynamic art is this TIME magazine cover from the 1970's.

It is a watercolor and pencil painting done by one of the great illustrators of the day, Bob Peak.

As soon as I saw it, it made me say, "Wow" and has stuck in my memory ever since. 

Now most of us may never produce anything this powerful. But that doesn't mean we can't learn to create more dynamic art than we do now.

That is what this and the next few blog posts are going to be about.

The step-by-step process of how to add more power to your art.

More Dynamic Art

And the first BIG step to more powerful art is to stop just copying your reference photographs.

Why do I say that?

Because photographs aren't a good substitute for creativity.

Because photographs lie. Depending on what settings you've chosen in your camera, shadows can be way too dark or too light. Colors can change, sometimes radically.

Depending on whether your lens is set to zoom or wide angle, your subject can appear distorted.

And a camera doesn't automatically create an interesting design of the things in your viewfinder.

Your art only begins to become more dynamic, more powerful and certainly more unique when you do your own interpretation of your subject.

That's what Bob Peak did in the TIME magazine cover.

If you search for pictures of Mother Teresa you will see he changed her face. He arranged the large stripes of her head scarf so they helped his diagonal design.

He let some of the blue watercolor bleed outside the lines of the stripes. He varied the value and intensity of that blue.

All of these things are examples of ways to enliven a work of art.

In later blog posts I'll get into some more of the ways to do that and why you would use them.

With any subject.

With any medium you use to draw or paint.

Best Wishes,
Gary Gumble
Founder of
Without art the crudeness of reality would make the world unbearable. (George Bernard Shaw)

P.S. I'm starting this series of blog posts for a couple reasons.

One, because in order to ever progress beyond being a beginning artist, these are things you must learn to do.

And Two, because I've had a number of people email me saying they have trouble trying to figure out what to change, what to add or what to eliminate from their photographs to make their art more exciting.

Knowing these things opens the door to your imagination. 

Freeing your imagination clears the way to creating more dynamic art.

And that puts you way ahead of most of your peers.

Stay tuned.

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