It seems that if you’re a notable name, you can easily paint something and have it get more publicity than any modern-day Picasso working out of his or her garage. While this may make the world look a little topsy-turvy, the world of art is already that way. The great painters of yesteryear have mostly passed, and the paintings people create today are usually just assimilations of original styles and techniques that came before. Despite this, new paintings by notable names are sometimes going for as much money as the classics are.
Most recently, we’ve seen former President George W. Bush become the next notable who’s having his artwork exhibited based squarely on his name. While his artwork is far from grade school level, it’s certainly not a distinctive style that can set off a new Presidential art movement. It’s close to the style of late President Dwight D. Eisenhower who reportedly once candidly said that his paintings were the equivalent of doggy droppings, even if he used it for mental therapy.
That kind of brazen honesty is one that perhaps other notables who think their paintings have to be taken seriously should harken back to. Regardless, artwork is such a proud endeavor that harsh honesty can’t be expected, no matter how distinguished the person is in other fields.
Is there really a template to go on that could help these former Presidents and notables become better painters? While art is what you make of it, you may want to keep certain guidelines in mind to help you find a better sense of style that could inadvertently help you create a new painting style never seen before.
Creating a Sense of Mystery
If you look at the greatest paintings over the centuries, almost all of the most famous ones had a sense of mystery. Mona Lisa doesn’t even have to be said, and the mystery on that painting still goes on. However, all paintings from portraits, scenic, to abstract had a compelling aspect that led to more intrigue than answering any questions. It’s the first thing you should keep in mind when starting a painting rather than going for the act of realism.
Use Skill That it Isn’t Noticeable
You should at least take some basic art courses so you can understand basic painting skill. No matter if you plan to paint abstractly, even abstraction takes educated skill than it appears to the naked eye. The key is to make the skill blend in naturally so no one even notices it. You don’t look at paintings from centuries ago and note how well they applied chiaroscuro or perspective. All of them appear to be fully formed pieces of reality.
The Art of Setting a Time and Place
Much like a short story works, you want to create a painting that invokes a particular situation during a time and place. No matter if it’s a portrait, show a setting around them that represents an evocative setting will give your painting more character. You also want it to tell a story, even if that story still has some mystery to invite viewers to fill in with their own imaginations.
Paint Something That People Can Relate To
Showing your subjects in certain circumstances or even abstract paintings representing the times can help people relate to the painter’s vision. You don’t want so much mystery in your paintings that nobody can understand what you’re trying to say. And if the message is something that’s already happened, or you think will happen, it should relate to basic human understanding rather than a jumbled mess of ideas.
In the range of portraits, these same elements can be applied to bring some sense of value. George W. Bush’s paintings of world leaders might save his paintings from being just amateurish dalliances and perhaps give some kind of valuable insight into what his relationships were with people who made the world turn.