The Artist’s Way & The Art Spirit…

Painting is just another way of keeping a diary.
— Pablo Picasso.

I have been reading two very good books on artists from two different viewpoints. The first book is by Robert Henri “The Art Spirit” which is written from the viewpoint of an art teacher speaking to his students, bringing in all of his experience and knowledge for them to grow into budding artists. The second book is from Julia Cameron “The Artist’s Way”. Robert Henri’s book is mainly for painters and cultural enthusiasts while Julia Cameron’s book is for all artists… from writers, poets, painters, art directors, etc. and is about bringing back creativity into our lives. Both books are incredible and are must-reads for anyone who is interested in an artistic path.

In Robert Henri’s book he talks about creating a homogeneous palette using only three (3) primary colours. By finding a good yellow, red and blue we can create 12 colours that are analogous to the Spectrum Band. “… take a true Red, Yellow and Blue as you can choose (primary). Mix neighbour with neighbour until you have three new notes, Orange “O”, Green “G” and Purple “P” (secondary). Set all six in a line and mix neighbour with neighbour until you have six (6) more — RO, OY, YG, GB, BP, PR”. You will end up with the diagram shown below.

For the past two years, the colour that I have been the least satisfied with are all of my Yellows. New Gambodge is fine for intense greens, but shaky elsewhere. The opacity of Cadmium Yellow really bothers me as I love transparency in watercolours. Aureolin Yellow has been ok, but a weak colour. So today I decided to try out one of Robert Henri’s exercise and decided to use three different yellows. The first row was mixed with Aureolin Yellow, Alizarin Crimson and French Ultramarine. The second row was mixed with Hansa Light, and the third row with Hansa Medium. I am very satisfied with the intensity of the Hansa Medium and this new yellow is going to have a permanent status in my palette. It has just been upgraded -)))

Je suis en train de lire deux livres sur le monde artistique qui valent bien la peine d’être lus… et relus au courant d’une vie. Le premier est le libre de Robert Henri “The Art Spirit” qui est un livre raconté par un professeur de peinture — Robert Henri — qui parle à ses élèves de leur art et sur la vie artistique. Il y a des perles d’idées à toutes les deux pages! Le deuxième livre est le livre de Julia Cameron “The Artist’s Way” qui est un livre pour toutes sortes d’artistes…. écrivains, acteurs, poètes, peintres, sculpteurs, etc. et ce livre focalise sur le processus de la créativité et comment l’intégrer dans notre vie de tous les jours. Les deux livres sont indispensables, à mon point de vue, et ils devront être relus bien souvent au courant d’une vie.

Paper: Travelogue Handbook 8″ x 8″
Colours: Aureolin Yellow, Hansa Light, Hansa Medium, Alizarin Crimson & French Ultramarine
Fountain Pen: Platinum Desk Pen
Ink: Carbon Black
Location: Rigaud, Québec, Canada

20150304_RobertHenriHomogeneousPalette

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About Jane Hannah

Canadian graphic artist, painter, sketcher, typographer, calligrapher and teacher at Cégep John Abbott College in Québec, Canada. Jane Hannah also has a website for her students at www.gimligraphics.com and a main blog at www.janehannah.com. She is also part of the Montreal Urban Sketchers.
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