Art school gives you the fundamentals, the discipline, the tests. Then you must get out and set up your easel.
The first fundamental is drawing.
The most important fundamental rule in painting is VALUES. The word means only one thing – how light and how dark everything is, in relation to each other.
Composition and design are basic essentials.
The sketchbook is the art student's notebook. Use it.
Some days, just draw.
See before you paint. You must study an object before you start to paint it.
Don't be afraid to use pigment. Avoid excessive turpentine and varnish.
It's time to use more pigment. There's no law, but if you use more paint, your canvas will be richer . . . more satisfying to the observer.
All of us can learn by persistence, backed by observation.
There are many accidents, fortunate and unfortunate, in painting. It's a strange business.
Fortunately there are many methods of painting; however, the average student seeks one with a foolproof shortcut. To my mind, there are no shortcuts.
There are too many young painters today who want to start on the eight or ninth rung of the ladder instead of the first.
Nature, of course, is the basic reference, whether for a Japanese print or fifty-seven other varieties of painting.
The nude figure is the real test of an artist's ability to draw and paint.
Painting is an individual interpretation of Nature. Four artists will produce four quite different pictures from the same area.
You must have taste. Be choosy about subject matter and what you do with it.
Be yourself. Don't make the mistake of trying to imitate another's work.
In the early days I tried to put into a picture everything I saw. But I soon learned to leave many things out.
Amplify two facts – sunlight and shadow then add a rough amount of detail to the lighted area, and some to the shaded. Don't stab portholes that become ink spots . . . windows? You can control it better. Bumps confuse us. Detail is the worst business. Fight it!
Experiment. Possibly you will find something new and of value to the art world.
You don't become an artist until you've been through school and until you feel art. Remember, all kids like to draw. But that's only their desire to imitate. You must prove you want to be an artist by studying and by accepting discipline.
First come the fundamentals, then some guidance in their application. The remainder, needless to say, is up to the individual – and it's a lifetime job.