The Magical Process to Perfecting Your Art

The magical process to perfecting your art begins with sending $200 in small unmarked bills to my bank account in the Bahamas.

Or…you could reduce the cost and simplify the process. And demystify it.

By taking the idea you have for a piece of art and doing what experienced artists do.

You begin the process of perfecting your art by asking yourself a few very important questions.

(More about this in a moment.)

That’s what I did with this photograph I showed you last week.

This is a small park in the middle (el centro) of Guanajuato, Mexico. And like most photographs you or I will ever take, it isn’t a great picture.

You aren’t likely to exclaim, “Wow, that is so wonderful!” and become jealous of my talent as a photographer.

That wasn’t the reason I shot this scene.

I took it, because I felt there were possibilities in it for a good piece of art.

But these possibilities need to be discovered.

I would compare this magical process to how gemstones are created.

In their raw state many gems look like ordinary rocks. It is only after refining and polishing that their true beauty shows.

The same applies in art.

And the magical process of refining and perfecting your art involves a simple drawing tool –a sketch.

You start with a rough idea and by simplifying or moving or eliminating or adding things, you arrive at good sketch drawing ideas.

In other words, you use this simple drawing tool to refine, polish, and gradually create your gem.

I’ll say more about this process later.

For now, just remember that you perfect your art (create your gem) by asking yourself questions, like I did as I drew this sketch.

Do I need this? Would the composition be better without that? Should the woman be closer to the fountain? Do I need all of the other people? Should I simplify the background?

Now I realize that my plans may not be totally clear in this rough drawing, my sketch drawing idea.

And yes, you’re right, I didn’t notice the fountain was crooked until after I photographed the sketch. My bad.

But, please keep in mind the whole point of doing a sketch.

It helps you see if the changes you want to make to this complicated scene will perfect your art.

It doesn’t matter if the sketch is clear to anyone else.

It only matters that it helps you be clear about what you should do in your art.

And to help you be more clear about what I want to do, I went to great expense to alter this photograph.

To more or less match my sketch.

Compare it to the original.

What things have I done to change and simplify this scene? What have I done to call more attention to the star of my picture?

This magical process of perfecting your art begins and ends with asking yourself the right questions.

And then seeing if your answers create a gem – a good sketch drawing idea.

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

P.S. I emphasize sketching to perfect your art, because it’s hard to just imagine all the things you may need to do in the final painting.

And how well they will actually work.

In my experience depending on imagination alone can lead to problems.

In my own imagination (and probably yours too) everything always looks and works great.

Problems only arise later as you try to complete the work of art. As the saying goes, the Devil is in the details, and your imagination often overlooks crucial details.

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