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Pros and (Mostly) Cons of Sight-size Method

by Keith Bond on 3/17/2014 7:27:34 AM
13 Comments

The problem with sight-size is that if you have become dependent upon it, you may not have the confidence (or worse yet, the ability) to accurately draw something that isn't exactly as you see it. You become dependent upon copying. Creativity suffers. Works become technical craft and less about feeling, mood, and expression. [...]


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Shape Welding

by Keith Bond on 3/3/2014 7:38:58 AM
11 Comments

So, the lesson for today is to see the values in your subject. Organize them into 3 to 5 values. And weld like value shapes together to create fewer shapes. Yet, within each shape, you can have all the color, texture, detail, interest that you want. Just don't lose the integrity of each shape ? which lies in its value. [...]


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An Organized Palette Leads to Intuitive Color Mixing

by Keith Bond on 2/17/2014 7:09:43 AM
13 Comments

Mixing through intuition doesn't mean that I resort to formulas, either. It merely means that I know by heart where the needed color is on the palette. There are many challenges to painting. Searching for the colors, because they aren't organized, simply adds unnecessarily to the challenges. [...]


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Everything is Subject to Change

by Keith Bond on 1/20/2014 7:24:53 AM
10 Comments

Remember in your work this one important principle. Everything is subject to change if it will improve your work?everything from that one juicy brush stroke to a 3 foot high cactus. [...]


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The Strong Beginning

by Keith Bond on 1/6/2014 10:02:45 AM
14 Comments

For me, though, it is time well spent to take a bit longer at the very beginning to ensure the strength of design and to ensure the colors and values are accurate. The reason is, the stronger the beginning, the less reworking I need to do later on. The stronger the beginning, the more likelihood I will have a successful finish. [...]


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Images of Christmas (Carl Heinrich Bloch)

by Keith Bond on 12/23/2013 10:16:35 AM
11 Comments

Carl Bloch, with great skill and sensitivity, painted several paintings of the life of Christ. Many of which were created for the chapel at Frederiksborg Palace in Hillerød, Denmark. [...]


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The Better Way

by Keith Bond on 12/9/2013 7:32:30 AM
34 Comments

I believe that we artists have a gift. I won't go into the talent vs. discipline/hard work argument here (I believe it is a combination of both). And I'll save that for another article. But suffice it to say that since I believe a good portion of it is an innate, God-given gift or talent, I also believe that there is a stewardship associated with that gift. We will be held accountable one day for how we used the gift of art. [...]


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Understanding the Why Informs the How

by Keith Bond on 11/13/2013 7:34:10 AM
12 Comments

You are faced with many decisions as you approach a painting. First is what to paint. Second, and probably most important, why do you want to paint it? Once this second question is answered comes the many ?how' questions. These ?how' questions involve things like composition, value, color, drawing, edges, just to name a few. Each of these principles is interdependent and a change in one will affect each of the others. [...]


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Low Tech Auction

by Keith Bond on 10/28/2013 7:44:17 AM
18 Comments

They don't sell for huge sums of money, but I am making enough on them that it does make economic sense to sell them in this manner when I have one that I want to sell. The price does vary a bit from painting to painting, but if I were to sell 3 or 4 a week at the average price they are going for, it would be sizeable amount at the end of the year. [...]


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Role of Student vs. Instructor

by Keith Bond on 10/14/2013 8:15:23 AM
20 Comments

An instructor can give example after example, theory after theory ?til he's blue in the face. He can encourage, correct, praise, and push the student. He can walk the student step by step through the process while holding the student's hand. But none of this will lead to the student learning anything until the student takes responsibility to learn. That doesn't take responsibility away from the teacher, though. It takes both for learning to occur. [...]


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The Center of Interest isn't Always Your Subject

by Keith Bond on 9/16/2013 9:20:17 AM
9 Comments

It is the interaction between characters and the plot line that were composed that create the center of interest. Sometimes if you merely try to copy things just as you see them in front of you, you will have no center of interest, because you aren't composing a story. [...]


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Can Music Help Your Art?

by Keith Bond on 9/3/2013 9:35:01 AM
19 Comments

Memory and emotion are closely linked to creativity, which leads to meaningful works of art that have authenticity. Music is a powerful way to tap into those memories and emotion. [...]


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What is Plein Air Anyway?

by Keith Bond on 8/19/2013 7:32:18 AM
54 Comments

What does en plein air really mean? It is a French term. Depending upon which dictionary you use, the English translation is a variation of the following: "in the open air", "outdoors", "open air", or "out in the open". That sounds simple enough. Paintings done on location, outdoors, and in the open air are considered plein air paintings. [...]


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Don't Just Play it Safe

by Keith Bond on 8/5/2013 7:37:54 AM
5 Comments

Your so-called ?safe' paintings often have a higher likelihood of turning out successfully. But they usually won't be the ?show-stoppers'. They will tend to feel a little bit more predictable or formulaic for lack of better words. Even if they turn out good, they probably won't represent your very best work. [...]


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I'm Not in the Mood

by Keith Bond on 7/22/2013 7:29:41 AM
16 Comments

If you want to be a professional artist, you will have deadlines, commitments, and maybe even demonstrations. You will need to perform and will need to show up to do the work. Even if you have no audience such as the demo, you cannot just blow off your responsibilities when you "don't feel like painting". [...]


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Don't Be an Impersonator

by Keith Bond on 7/8/2013 7:21:57 AM
33 Comments

Although your subject inspires you, you don't copy the likeness, pose, arrangement, or anatomy of [insert your subject here]. You capture the spirit and essence of your subject and show me why it is important to you. Originality comes when you respond to your subject and then share what it means to you. That is how you become authentic and develop your voice. You create art from within ? it has meaning; you feel something; you find importance or significance. [...]


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Training for a Marathon

by Keith Bond on 6/24/2013 7:37:00 AM
11 Comments

In each of these cases, remember to consider the paintings exercises. Don't worry about getting a masterpiece with each one. It never happens that way anyway. Push yourself. Consider each painting a growing experience. Exercise. Practice. Some will turn out and some won't. Like the athlete, you will be building both your skills as an artist as well as your confidence. [...]


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Drawing Tutorials and Marketing Lessons

by Keith Bond on 6/17/2013 7:42:34 AM
3 Comments

The point is to consider what you have to offer your fans and collectors and find ways to fill their needs and wants. Be creative ? that's what you are as an artist, by the way. [...]


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Geology and Art

by Keith Bond on 6/10/2013 7:17:34 AM
8 Comments

The point is, when we converse with non artists, do we sometimes forget that they don't understand some of the concepts and vocabulary? Speak on their level. [...]


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Angel's Landing

by Keith Bond on 6/3/2013 7:28:30 AM
25 Comments

Just as the trail deceptively begins easy, so too, some artists have unrealistic ideas of what is necessary to pursue a career in art. Yet, the trail gets steep quickly, with few areas of ease. Being an artist is certainly an uphill climb with few times of relative ease. [...]


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Painting Large en Plein Air

by Keith Bond on 5/20/2013 7:29:41 AM
27 Comments

I find that most of my plein air works could have been greatly improved in compositional choices. This is one of many reasons my plein air work serves mostly as studies and not as finished paintings. If I do a very large canvas, I wouldn't want to consider it a mere study. I would want a finished painting. But with all the visual stimuli out there and quickly changing light, most compositions aren't as well thought out as they could be. [...]


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There Must Be Another Reason

by Keith Bond on 5/13/2013 7:43:06 AM
32 Comments

My plein air work is about responding emotionally to the moment. But, I have realized that my studio work enables me to explore other ideas, push compositional choices, or push color to create a mood. [...]


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Self Doubt

by Keith Bond on 5/6/2013 8:40:05 AM
15 Comments

A certain amount of self-doubt is healthy. It keeps us humble and motivates us to strive to learn, practice, and improve our art. But an overabundance can be harmful or even crippling. [...]


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Excuses are the Enemy of Opportunity

by Keith Bond on 4/29/2013 8:03:13 AM
21 Comments

These words resonate with me. Now, I will admit, I have had my fair share of excuses. And who knows what opportunities I have missed because of them. But, I have also seen the other side ? and I try to stay on this other side. I know of the opportunities that will arise by not making excuses. [...]


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Develop Your Personal Style

by Keith Bond on 4/22/2013 7:24:48 AM
10 Comments

Someone recently asked me for guidance on how to develop a personal style. The short answer is not to worry about it too much. It will come naturally with time. The caveat, though, is that you need to let it develop. This leads me to the long answer. [...]


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Pieces of the Puzzle

by Keith Bond on 4/15/2013 7:18:43 AM
9 Comments

Now, let's assume you sign up for a workshop. You want to understand how to fit those remaining pieces together. But what happens instead is the instructor dumps a thousand or so more pieces right in the middle of your puzzle you are trying to put together. Now your pieces and the instructor's pieces are all mixed up. And to top it off, the instructor removes some of the pieces you put down and replaces them with new pieces. This can cause you a lot of frustration. [...]


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Learn To Fish - Part 2 in a series about Workshops

by Keith Bond on 4/8/2013 7:25:29 AM
17 Comments

I didn't (and still don't) want a fish, I wanted to learn how to fish. For me, specific techniques, methods, materials, etc. are fishes. On the other hand, learning how to fish is a combination of learning the basic foundation (the fundamentals) coupled with learning how to see and respond emotionally to your subject. [...]


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Workshops - An Investment in Yourself

by Keith Bond on 4/1/2013 7:25:33 AM
14 Comments

So, some of you may have painted for many years. You have taken workshops in the past. You might even teach them now. But if you have reached a plateau or you simply want to understand art at a higher level, then consider attending another workshop. [...]


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Green - It's Everywhere

by Keith Bond on 3/18/2013 7:21:06 AM
21 Comments

To recap, mastery of greens only comes through careful observation and practice. Avoidance is not the answer. You may not paint a summer landscape which is nearly entirely green. But you will still need to understand green to paint a winter scene which seems devoid of green, a portrait of a woman wearing white, or a still life with teapots and eggs. You need not be a master to paint greens convincingly. [...]


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Show Me Your Relationship With Her

by Keith Bond on 3/11/2013 7:52:21 AM
15 Comments

How close you stay to (perceived) reality and how much you deviate and create something entirely new is completely up to you. But don't be so tied to a literal depiction that you fail to see the possibilities of improving upon the design you see in nature. [...]


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Stop Worrying About Yourself ? Focus on Others (Part 2)

by Keith Bond on 2/25/2013 7:29:13 AM
15 Comments

Creating is a very personal inward endeavor. We, as artists, create from within. "You" focus on what "you" want to say with "your" art. "You" get inspired by "your" muse. "Your" work is an expression of "your" emotions or ideas, etc. And it should be. Your art needs to be genuine. Just as the desire to teach needs to be genuine. But how do you bridge that gap between creating for self yet focus on your collectors? [...]


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Stop Worrying About Yourself - Focus on Others (Part 1)

by Keith Bond on 2/11/2013 7:52:04 AM
14 Comments

But this principle doesn't just apply to those of you who teach. It also applies if you just simply sell the work you create. When I first learned this principle, I thought, "That applies to services, like teaching, mentoring, coaching, etc. But not to selling products like my paintings." But I have since learned that I was wrong. It does apply to my art and it applies to your art. [...]


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Stories Behind Girl with a Pearl Earring

by Keith Bond on 2/4/2013 7:39:49 AM
14 Comments

Despite what inspired you to create your work, despite your intentions, each viewer will complete the artwork in his or her mind. It may be similar to your intentions, but it may be vastly different. [...]


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Ignore Your Weaknesses, Cultivate Your Strengths

by Keith Bond on 1/21/2013 9:10:07 AM
10 Comments

Even if you don't master each of the fundamentals, a certain awareness, understanding, and even proficiency is essential to adequately express yourself. Your strengths are more important. And cultivating them to their full potential will make your work authentic, real, unique, etc. Your strengths will define you. [...]


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A Time for Completion

by Keith Bond on 1/14/2013 7:56:37 AM
27 Comments

The projects that are the focus of this article, and my resolve, are the projects that have been set aside for awhile. Some have collected quite a bit of dust. Some were set aside as other things took priority. Some of these projects were set aside because I was stuck and didn't quite know what the next step should be. Others remain unfinished because of fear. Still others have been hindered by overwhelm. You get the picture. There are many reasons why projects get set aside. [...]


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2012 Roundup: Looking back on what FineArtViews accomplished in 2012 Part 1

by Carrie Turner on 1/4/2013 8:45:44 AM
7 Comments

We at FineArtViews (FAV) strive to offer solid insight into the world of art and art marketing -- by introducing readers to viewpoints concerning the state of the art world, and exploring a wide range of art marketing strategies. That dedication was stronger than ever in 2012. [...]


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Commissions

by Keith Bond on 12/31/2012 7:36:37 AM
28 Comments

Is there a way for you to feel inspired and excited about the work and still fulfill a client's request for a commission? Can you do it without feeling like you are selling out to commercialism? Can you maintain your artistic freedom and integrity while doing a commission? Yes. [...]


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You Can't Do Everything

by Keith Bond on 12/24/2012 7:39:57 AM
8 Comments

The truth is you cannot possibly do every idea that you come across. There are a gazillion great ideas out there (and a gazillion bad ones). [...]


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The Spirit Within Your Art

by Keith Bond on 12/17/2012 7:29:27 AM
24 Comments

An original creation emanates something from within that is felt. Not by your fingers, but within you. Felt by your spirit. I don't know how or why, but somehow, through the hands of labor and through the labor of love, you imbue within your artistic creation a portion of you. Not your physical self, but in a way part of your spirit self. [...]


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The Missing Information

by Keith Bond on 12/10/2012 7:43:10 AM
12 Comments

Regardless of your style, tight or loose, bold or delicate, put in only what communicates what you want and leave all else out. This will allow the viewer to fill in the missing information in a way that is unique and personal. [...]


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