Wednesday, November 20, 2013

The Rhythm of Application

Here's the demo I did for a local art group last week.  The lesson was on trees.  Giving a running commentary while painting is not the easiest thing to do, especially when you have an hour and fifteen minutes to complete the task.  But I love doing it! 

Because of time restraints, one of the things I talked about was "the rhythm of application", a phrase not coined by but used by Helen van Wyk.   At first I didn't know what she meant, but as I keep painting, I understand that your brush keeps time, that it swings and moves at a certain pace.  That lets the painting develop naturally, moving all over the paper or canvas with a rhythmic speed that gives unity to the brush strokes. If I paint one section at one speed and then slow it down to a crawl in another section, the result will be two separate looks, one spontaneous, and the other very careful.

Of course, it takes years of practice to develop the confidence and know-how to enable such freedom.  But I love the swing of the brush, the slinging of the paint and the rhythmic feel that occurs during the act of painting. 

P.S.  This may be why some artists like to paint while listening to music.  Subconsciously the tempo of the music may influence their brushstroke speed.

No comments:

Post a Comment