Exercising Your Artistic Eye

If you have ever been guilty of making painting more complicated that it need be- try this approach. Find an object, preferably an object that is interesting in shape, trace it on several pieces of watercolor paper, canvas, or board and without looking at the object experiment with trusting your eye to arrange colors and values on the traced shape.  The four images shown are obviously traced from a pair of scissors.  I do these with never a thought as to design or visual accuracy and love the results. There must be a lesson here.

All these paintings are 9″x 6″ watercolor and gouache on paper.


  • susan greene

    Feb 4, 2012 at 11:37 am Reply

    Very cool Im going to try this exercise today. Do u have a favorite?

  • Christina Lovisa

    Feb 26, 2012 at 8:23 am Reply

    Fabulous idea Skip! I will try it with my students! Thank you.

    I am considering taking a course with you in NY – I am not a new artist, but new to Watermedia really. Is it suitable ?

    Thanks 🙂

  • Hi Skip, You and Toph came to me in my dream last nite… (my teachers are always with me) had to chk out yr web today… I LOVE Excercising yr artist eye lesson. Will use it myself and have my students practice. Tks for being such a great teacher. sylvia megerdichian

    • Skip Lawrence

      May 5, 2012 at 11:39 am Reply

      HI Sylvia, Now great to hear from you. I am delighted that you like the blog and the suggestions. I do hope thyey will help you as much as I love the approach.


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