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Excerpts from “A Painted Kiss”…on how to draw

30 Oct

 

Reclining nude 1888

 

Emilie’s first Art Lessons with Gustav Klimt:

…”Draw the brick. What is a brick?”

…clay that’s baked in an oven…

“Stoneware is clay baked in an oven too, but you wouldn’t confuse a pitcher with this brick now, would you?”

Klimt’ s first lessons in art school at 11 years old was to draw a brick.

“What’s a brick?”

A brick is a rectangular piece of clay that is fired in an oven and used as a building material

“Excellent, and draw what you see.”

“An artist can always learn by looking no matter how mundane the object.”

How do you make an object three dimensional, to show more texture?

Klimt drew upside down. It looked like a wedge of moldy cheese yet there was no doubt that it was a brick, and there was not doubt it was the brick on the table in front of us. It was more detailed than a fingerprint.

“If you keep looking you will able to do that.”

Emilie then progressed to:

“….spheres drawn with the flat of the charcoal, for volume. I drew with my eyes closed. I drew without looking at the paper. I drew in loops and squiggles, in one unbroken line, in sharp crosshatchings. I drew things i would never have thought to draw: a book lying open on the table, a dead pigeon.

“…I held the charcoal wrong, he said. It wasn’t a fistful of money, it was a skein of silk to be unwound. Held too tightly it wold catch or snare. I said that if I held it too loosely I would drop it. He said held too tightly I would break it, that I was supposed to trust it. How can I trust it, I thought, when it gives me these horrible, ugly drawings? I drew better when I was a baby and I was allowed to scribble on the back of used wrapping paper.”

All you have to do is LOOK.

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