- Sailing a felucca down the Nile River
Apr 05 2016
- Music Inspirations: Sunday Morning
Mar 13 2016
- Journal Entry: Venice
Jan 10 2016
- Poem 4
Nov 01 2015
- Poem 3
Oct 24 2015
- Poem 2
Sep 17 2015
- Poem 1
Aug 10 2015
- Journal Entry: Train ride to Scotland
Jun 13 2015
- Japanese prints
Nov 23 2014
- a note about inspiration
Aug 02 2014
- Creating Deliberate Art: Choosing a Medium
Dec 07 2015
- Creating Deliberate Art: Introduction
May 30 2015
- Creating Deliberate Art: Compositional Elements
Apr 24 2015
- Creating Deliberate Art: Unifying Theme
Mar 17 2015
- Creating Deliberate Art: Capturing the Inspiration
Feb 10 2015
- Technique: pierced metal
Dec 30 2014
- a note about process
Sep 09 2014
- Venice, June 2000: Masquerade of Intimate Affection
Feb 24 2016
- Like a Fly
Dec 29 2015
- Art Nouveau Necklace
Jul 03 2015
- African Padauk Wood
Jan 06 2015
- Castle by the Sea
Oct 16 2014
Creating Deliberate Art: Choosing a Medium
In the sequence of creating deliberate art, once you have come to this step, you have really nailed your inspiration. Now you need to choose how you are going to connect that inspiration with your audience. In essence, how do you want them to experience your inspiration?
Choosing a medium is first and foremost determined by whether you want your audience to interact with your inspiration visually, physically, or intellectually. If the inspiration is conveyed visually, color and perceivable texture will be very important, if physically, then the tactile properties, and if intellectually, medium should be chosen based on associations.
When you choose your medium, you decide the form the piece of art will take.
Again, refer back to your Inspirational Elements. Use the following list and try to imagine what your final piece will look like if you made it in each form. Expanding your concept of the inspiration by imagining it in other forms, even forms you are not familiar with, will help to inspire you, and will also help you look at the application of your Inspirational Elements from a fresh viewpoint. You may have already decided which medium to use, but this quick and simple exercise will broaden your perception of the inspiration, may develop your understanding of the inspiration in ways you didn’t expect, and help you think outside the box.
It is also important to consider how you will interact with the medium to create the artwork. Some mediums are very easy, and some very difficult to work with. Some are dirty, some are neat, some need lots of space, and some may require you to spend lengthy hours sitting in one spot. All of these considerations are important as you determine which medium will interact best with your inspiration. Also keep in mind the cost, and your current level of experience. You may have the idea that a certain medium is perfect for your inspiration, but if it’s outside of your budget or current skill level, you are only going to make yourself frustrated and end up unhappy with the finished piece. Also consider any deadlines and the time required to work with the material.
Try to think about medium not as the finished piece, but rather as the process you will go through to create the art. Your choice of medium will be the nuts and bolts of the creation. And while some art transmits its connection to the audience through the nuances of its imagery, some art is about the procedure that the artist goes through to complete the piece. Is a lot of blood, sweat and tears necessary to express the inspiration? Or is it whimsical, and needs the flexibility of a medium that is easily changed, or quickly accomplished?
In a grander scheme of your artistic experience, think about the way this piece fits in with the rest your body of work. Are you trying to develop consistency, or are you expanding into new territory? Also, referencing prior works that you loved, and hated, is an invaluable tool in determining how to tackle the challenges of a new piece.
Within each medium, there are fundamentals that you will need to understand and work with to portray your Inspirational Elements. Each has aspects that are easy, hard, time-consuming, thick, thin, glossy, rough, light, dark, etc. Which of these convey your ideas? Make sure you understand the difference between envisioning your piece, and creating your piece. Tried and true mediums will warrant a greater control of the outcome, whereas experimentation can be risky. There is a time and place for both, and knowing the where and when leads to an artist very well pleased with his/her artwork.
I have always felt that a maquette (small-scale model) or a few tests with the medium’s color, texture, or application is helpful at this stage. Your great ideas may hit a major roadblock when the practical application steers you away from the vision. You can save yourself a lot of time, money, and frustration, just by doing a few quick tests.
I have compiled the following list, with a few insights to help in decision-making. I have played around with most of these, but am only really proficient in a handful. If you have additions or clarifications that you would like to add to this list, please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org. I believe this list to be more beneficial the more comprehensive it becomes.
An easy medium to work with medium. Very detailed rendering is possible. Errors can be erased. Smudging can be a problem. Greyscale only. Smooth texture (determined by paper).
Very useful for dark, contrasting line. Precise. Available in bright color, but cannot be mixed. Shading can only be done by hash lines. Permanent. Smooth texture (determined by paper).
Great for shading and color transitions. Difficult without extensive practice. Patience while paint dries is a must. Wide variety of mixable colors. Permanent. Smooth texture (determined by paper).
Great for soft, impressionistic art. Wide variety of blendable colors. Messy and easily smudged. Subtle texture can be built in layers.
Quick and easy paint. Fast dry times. Blending can be difficult. Relatively inexpensive for large scale works. Most brands are water soluble and not resistant to weather. Wide range of texture.
Very versatile. Slow dry times. Blending and layering of opaque to transparent colors is obtainable. Can be expensive. Resistant but not impervious to weather. Wide range of texture.
Easily reproducible. Great for color gradients or washes. Dangerous etching chemicals. Can be used on paper or fabric. Large scale is difficult. Texture and weather resistance is dependant on the paper or fabric printed upon.
Great for still life, scenes, and portraiture. Equipment can be costly. Manipulation can be done in the dark room or digitally. Texture and weather resistance is dependant on the paper printed upon. If transferred into a digital file, can be printed on many weather resistant surfaces.
Great for intellectual works, text and associations. Copyright issues need to be carefully avoided when using other artists’ images. Wide range of texture.
Easily reproducible. Easily circulated. Errors are easily corrected. Can be both precisely detailed or highly abstract. Wide range of colors. Enforcing copyright issues is a concern. No texture until printed, then texture and weather resistance is dependant on the material printed upon.
Easy to relate to the human body. Available in a wide range of colors. Flexible in form, but difficult to create rigid, solid shapes. Great for texture, but difficult to create smooth, polished surfaces. Needs to be protected from weather.
Very versatile. Easy to work with. Natural colors are based on the type of wood, but can be altered with stain. Can be painted. Natural line patterns and textures formed by wood grain. Texture can be rough or highly polished. Weather will wear over time.
Easily manipulated. Errors can be corrected before it drys/sets. Difficult to create in large scale. Often needs access to a kiln, which can be expensive. Many color glazes available. Texture can be rough or highly polished. Fragile. In most cases, needs to be protected from weather.
Requires muscle strength to carve. Errors are not easily corrected. Very time consuming. Colors are limited to type of stone. Some stone has natural patterns. Texture can be rough or highly polished. Very resistant to weather.
Cold handling needs minimal experience. Soldering, casting, and other hot manipulation can be dangerous, and requires training. Heavy machinery may be required. Errors are moderately easy to correct. Can be created in very small or very large scale. Can take almost any form. Can be very stiff or very flexible. Texture can be rough or highly polished. Natural colors available based on type. Wider variety of color available by paint or patina. Some metals need to be painted or coated at regular intervals to not be effected by weather, but otherwise very resilient.
Difficult without extensive practice. Casting and blown glass need access to expensive equipment. Errors are not easy to correct. Small to medium scale. Can take a wide variety of shapes. Wide range of colors. Texture choices are limited. Weather resistant, but fragile.
Can take almost any form. Errors take moderate effort to correct. Can be created in very small or very large scale. Can be toxic. Some variations are very stiff, with low flexibility, while some are very viscous. Wide range of colors. Most types are moderately impervious to weather, but colors will fade with exposure to sun.
Great for cultural or historical association. If looking for specific objects, searching can be difficult and time consuming. Wide range of color, texture, and scale. Weather resistance depends on material of objects.
Great for reference to environment. Small scale models require minimal skill. Full size structures usually require extensive training. Wide range of color, texture and scale. Weather resistance dependant on material.