Saturday, April 06, 2013

Underpaintings: Words of Wisdom: Vlaho Bukovac

from Underpaintings: Words of Wisdom: Vlaho Bukovac

"First learn how to look  – the hand will do its part of the work obediently." 

"Drawing is the ground of everything..."

"For you, the drawing is what the pattern is to the tailor: if the pattern is no good, all the work done later will come to nothing."

"With poor drawings, there is no form; there is nothing but blotches."

"The drawing is the skeleton of your picture, whatever it is you paint. If you have the bone, the flesh and the skin and the clothing will sit on it. If you have no bones, what is going to bear all that weight?"

"You don't need a hundred colours to express yourself. Nature didn't need so many."

"In nature, the sky is the lightest thing of all. Even the face, if we draw it against the sky, and if it isn't directly lit by the sun, is always dark."

When he saw a scene done from a great distance with little figures in it, he would always laugh and say, "Those are just flies in milk. When a figure on the canvas becomes as tiny as an insect in nature, then away with it! Better it wasn't there."

"White shines against a dark background, but on white canvas it loses its whiteness."

"Better. . . is an enemy of good."

"If you are uncertain, then be economical. The harm from prodigality is always greater than that from prudence."

"However difficult it is to start a picture, it is still more difficult to stop at the right time."

"Art does not tolerate any ready-made recipes. It is free, and all possible makings and techniques are welcome, only if they lead to the right end."

"When you think you have achieved something, that you are swelling with pride and satisfaction, then look up, of an evening, into the sky, and the sky will tell you how big you really are."