Saturday, November 12, 2016

My life with Kimon Nicolaides - Prologue

When I got interested in art, around the turn of the century, I marveled at a whole new world of dots, lines, values and colours. After an introductory course at De Werkschuit in Gouda, I choose to paint in acrylics, and joined courses of life drawing and portraiture at the same art centre and, later at the Vrije Academie and Adelbert Foppe's tekenstudio, both in Den Haag.

The more I drew, the more I found myself running in circles. The courses all boiled down to the same idea of carefully looking, and drawing what you see, without any underlying system. My drawings felt flat, and I wondered whether I would ever be able to draw from life. That is, draw people walking, talking, living, as opposed to carefully copying a patiently posing model. Also, while I did study anatomy, I was clueless about integrating my knowledge of the human body into my skills. So, I started my quest for a unifying curriculum.

It did not take very long for me to stumble across Betty Edwards' Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain. Although I really liked the exercises and little eye openers, the book did not do a lot more for me than to reiterate what I already understood, i.e. how to map the three dimensions of life to the two dimensions of the artist. I kept searching.

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