An Artist’s Strong Foundation

Like every good building, drawing needs a solid foundation. The foundation begins with what I call the TARP principles. Before even beginning down the path of Classical Atelier style training in painting and drawing, a student must begin with Tenacity, Attitude, Repetition and Patience. Without this, it will be difficult for an artist to improve.

Tenacity will ensure you that you won’t give up no matter how many times you receive negative feedback or reviews of your work. It won’t hinder you from moving forward towards your goals. Attitude is what feeds your tenacity. A student needs to have an attitude of intention of meeting the goal of achieving whatever level you set your mind to. Repetition is the act of continuously drawing and painting on a daily basis. It will be needed to practice as you learn and grow, which never ends for an artist regardless how successful they become. The act of repetition will embed your drawing skills into your minds muscle memory so that you eventually won’t even have to look at a form to draw it. Finally Patience. Rome wasn’t built in a day and most likely an artist won’t pick up a pencil and be a master at first stroke. In order to gain the skills needed to draw like the old masters patience is key.

With these principles in hand, begin… Keep a sketchpad with you everywhere you go. Draw every day from life especially. Even if it’s your coffee cup at work, a leaf you found outside. With these principles in your back pocket, your foundation is set in stone.


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