Friday, December 17, 2010

Back to Basics.

Lately I'm feeling my art being pulled back towards a slightly more graphic approach, something I used to use much more readily than any line work. Not that my stuff has become filled with a tiresome amount of bloody crosshatching, but I'm feeling cluttered and claustrophobic in my own artistic skin lately.

Instead of staring at stacks of David Mazuchelli and Alex Toth masterpieces, though fun in their own right, I've been obsessing lately over artists like Degas and, one of my all-time favorite artists, Gutav Klimt. I admit I can't remember where or exactly when I heard of this little exercise, but it helps me boil off the unnecessary art chatter that sometimes clogs up my brain and keeps me from hearing my own common sense.

I couldn't find a large, clear scan of the piece I thought would illustrate my point perfectly (Serpents), so you'll all have to settle for one of his other masterworks, Hygieia. I think you'd find that most great paintings; new, old or ancient, would be graphically viable when desaturated and turned into a two-tone piece of art. Its a simple, unsophisticated technique that sometimes helps me shake off some superfluous bits of my own technique.


  1. Hello Mike, nice to meet you.
    Great post with a good point of wiew. Klimt is one of my all-time favorite artists too and I have been studying for a long time the way he draws with the minimal lines and tones, but I never thought in this way you show in this post.

    Thanks a lot and Merry Xmas

  2. Its kind of an old school exercise people used to do with xerox machines, but its still effective! Hope it helps. Cheers.