Painting as Music - An Introduction: Secrets of A Modern Painter
Secrets of A Modern Painter: Painting as Music - An Introduction

Painting as Music - An Introduction

 
A New Blog Series:
Painting, Music, and the Power of Art

To improve your paintings, I want you start thinking more like a composer of music.


Everything is music.  

Painting is definitely a form of music, as music is a form of painting. As you explore the fundamentals of visual art, design, and painting, consider the parallels of music composition to expand your mind.

As a visual artist, you will always be referring to the basic concepts of design: shape, value, line & color. In addition, as you consider movement in your painting, you will think about balance & rhythm, among other things.

Now, let us begin to understand the relationship of music to painting and how you can immediately apply these ideas.

When I would begin improvising a new piece, and now as I begin a painting, I always consider my main theme to establish a tonality.

Always ask yourself- what does your painting mean?  
What is your main theme?
If you don't know at first, if you like to start with an empty mind or allow the ideas to change along the way that's great, these concepts will still help as you move forward;
but for now let's consider something straight forward and play with an idea.

Instead of painting the vase of flowers you have on your counter because they are beautiful, or you like the way the morning light is playing on them, stop and consider the idea of painting flowers. Flowers have been painted a million times before, what will your painting say that will be powerful and memorable?

Based on the ideas at hand, flowers in a vase and morning light, consider first the available themes, the tonality, the instrumentation. Flowers are full of life, color and beauty and the morning light is the first light of day, all signs of life and birth. Let's go with this idea for a moment: You're not going to create a painting of a vase of flowers - you're going to create a painting about birth, about creation.
But don't make it all beautiful, it would be too easy - consider aging flowers as a counterpoint. 

As in music, create and suspend tension.

What instrument will be playing the opening phrase? 
 Is it a piano? A flute? A violin?
How fast and bold will the melody line be, and how large will be the distance in intervals between the notes? Every aspect of your painting will refer back to your main theme - 1,000 people could represent the concept of birth in their own unique way-
How will you?

Think of your painting not as a still image,  
but as a series of events unfolding on the canvas.

However, while music needs time to unfold, a painting can be viewed in an instant.

Let's go for the dramatic without going over the top: forget about what's right in front of you,
it's just a jumping off point for your imagination.
You will use what's available as reference. 
You have seen in your lifetime almost every way light can be represented, learn to paint from memory and call upon all that's locked in your mind to compose your works.


Continue reading the Series "Painting As Music" with Part 1  
Painting the Dominant Theme




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