Pencils and paintbrushes know zip, zero, nada about art. There are no pencils that can give you drawing ideas.
There is not one paintbrush that can give you painting tips that make your art better.
Pastels, watercolors and oils the same thing.
They all have IQ’s of zero.
They are like the old joke about the academically failing football player whose teacher asked him, “Don’t you know anything?”
Sighing, he replied, “Sir, I don’t even suspect anything.”
Art materials are just as stupid. Pencils and paintbrushes know zip about art.
Yet many aspiring artists seem obsessed with an illusion. That somewhere there are just the right art supplies that will make a big difference in their work.
I noticed this at a monthly meeting of an art group I once belonged to. Part of the program at each meeting was usually a guest artist who did a painting demonstration.
At that month's meeting the guest was Eileen Sorg, a colored pencil artist.
I don't, as a rule, like colored pencil art, because so often it is a hyper realistic copy of the photograph the artist used.
In Eileen's case I was impressed. Yes, she was very realistic, but she went beyond realism. She added originality and whimsy to her art.
But all through the hour-long demonstration the focus of all the questions was about the materials she used.
What brand of colored pencils did she use? What kind of paper? What brand of watercolor for the underpainting?
What astonished me most was that not one person asked how she came up with the ideas for her images.
Many beginning artists seem to believe, or at least hope, that if they use the exact same art materials as a successful artist, their art will be good too.
But pencils and paintbrushes know zip about art.
They aren’t what you should focus on.
An artist becomes successful, because he or she has learned to create images that touch other people in some way.
Their work shows creative painting ideas, originality, imagination.
Artists can create their images in any medium.
They only work in a particular medium, because they found that particular medium suits their personality, the way they like to work.
The medium they use won’t necessarily be right for you.
Pencils and paintbrushes know zip about art.
Focus on the ideas your favorite artist uses to create his or her images.
Ideas you can transfer and learn how to improve your own work. That's why artists have studied and learned from each other for centuries.
Strive to create images that are original and imaginative.
You'll gradually learn which tools work best for you to reach that goal.
Founder of BeginningArtist.com
Without art the crudeness of reality would make the world unbearable. (George Bernard Shaw)
P.S. This idea that pencils and paintbrushes know zip about art also applies to computers and software.
They are only tools that create what’s in your mind.
I mention this for a reason.
I’ve mentioned before that I am in the process of developing a webinar on how to add more excitement and emotion to your work.
One important part of doing that is organizing my ideas so they will be interesting and exciting to see.
The other important part is gradually learning how best to use online tools to present a webinar.
You could think of these tools as my pencils and paintbrushes.
They know zip about art.