The Same Thing x Number of Times?


“I am always saying to myself: that’s not right yet. You can do better, it’s rare when I
can prevent myself from taking a thing up again… x number of times, the same thing.
Sometimes, it becomes an absolute obsession. But for that matter, why would anyone
work, if not for that? To express the same thing, but express it better. It’s always
necessary to seek for perfection. Obviously for us this word no longer has the same meaning. To me, it means: From one canvas to the next, always go further, further…” Pablo Picasso



Courage – Daily Therapy for Artists

Fat Man


“Comparison is the thief of joy.”  Unknown


Courage – Daily Therapy for Artists

RMIT 2nd Project

“Don’t judge any man (or woman) until you have walked two moons in their mocassins.”
Native American proverb.

Drawing – Create Cohesive Magic


Check out this crazy, yet striking drawing! This man’s clothes are totally merged with the background yet you still get the impression he is sitting with his shoulder and hand resting on the arm of the chair.

It is possible to create a unified pattern with an amazing design device!

The idea is to leave no boundary lines between one object and another or even the background as you see above.  This idea can be used when any two adjoining shapes are the same tone (or almost the same.) Dark shapes, white or middle tone shapes can all be merged just as well.

Deliberately merging the shapes in only one or two places in your drawing is enough to create cohesive magic.

Check these out!


The black dresses are merged at the knees but separate at the shoulder making these ladies strangely together yet apart.


These cows are tied together by their black shapes yet you still see them as cows only in a more exciting and dynamic way.

Are you willing to try embracing opposite qualities simultaneously? You will be surprised at the spontaneous opportunities you will find to use this great skill, all to the benefit of your drawing practice!

Courage – Daily Therapy for Artists

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“Finishing a painting demands a heart of steel: everything requires a decision, and I
find difficulties where I least expect them… It is at such moments that one fully
realizes one’s own weaknesses and how many incomplete, or impossible to complete,
parts comprise what one calls a ‘finished’ or completed work.”
Eugene Delacroix

An Easy Naive Cityscape Painting After Egon Schiele

Egon Schiele Landscape with Houses0912 003

Egon Schiele was a very talented artist from Austria  He was born in 1890 and died of Spanish flu at only 28 years of age.  Schiele created many erotic paintings for which he was eventually jailed.  His unconventional use of colour and line had never been seen before.  You can make your own Schiele painting quickly and easily, here’s how.

Schiele Exercise – Allow 1  to 1 ½ hours

What art materials do I need?

  • A piece of good quality paper , I have used A3 sizd but you can use whatever size takes your fancy.  Not too small is good.
  • A piece of willow charcoal (easy to rub out with your finger)
  • A medium sized watercolour or acrylic brush.
  • A tube of white acrylic paint.
  • A few watercolours.  Work with either red and yellow + black and white (see below *) or blue and green + black and white.  If you use colours with these combinations you will not end up with a rainbow painting.  By restricting yourself with colour this way, you automatically create colour harmony without you knowing it!
  • Rags or disposable kitchen towels for spills
  • A palette, I used an old white kitchen plate.
  • A plastic container for water.

What to paint on?

I selected a hard piece of cardboard (off the back of an old watercolour pad) and primed it with my own homemade gesso primer.    You don’t have to do this; working directly on to paper is fine.

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Select a photograph to paint from

Next I looked at Egon Schiele’s paintings of houses, which I love!  I then selected a photograph of a similar scene and went to work.


How to draw the houses

I did a very rough charcoal drawing of the houses. Don’t worry if your shapes are wonky, you can go over them with paint later.  Actually, I got lost in the drawing and eventually created my own shapes, doors and windows.  I just kept on joining the lines and decided to add some crazy trees in the foreground at the end.

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Let’s start painting

Next I painted between the lines with white acrylic paint. Don’t worry if some of the charcoal moves into the paint, this is what will make the painting interesting.  I used the paint directly from the tube with no water to make the surface as textured as possible.  This will create lovely variations in colour when the paint runs all over the place!

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Allow the painting to dry

I had a cup of tea while I allowed this to dry.  Usually 30 minutes is enough time.  Putting the work out in the sun helps too but make sure your work is not in a dusty spot.

Let’s paint with watercolours

Next, select your watercolour tubes according to my colour recommendations above. * TIP: You can make a lovely green with black and yellow, just add white for a lighter green.

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Then check out your photograph and lay colours down according to what you see.  Put the background in first, then the dark colours, the mid tone colours and then the lightest colours last.  Your colours do not have to be exactly the same as the ones you see.  Just try to make sure the dark, mid and light tones are true to what you see otherwise your painting will look great but will only be shapes of colours.  And we want houses, don’t we?

TIP:  Put the watercolours down once only and leave them.  Watercolour has magical properties when left to do its own thing!

Watch your paint brush create magic

At the end I went over the charcoal lines with a thin brush dampened with water.  The charcoal will run and make a line.  I also put in the windows by using black (with a dot of red) watercolour paint and a thin brush.

My finished painting

This is my finished painting, it looks kind of naive but I ended up really liking it.  Putting it in a frame turned it into a magical piece of work totally suitable for my hallway!  So put yours in a frame if you can and see what happens!

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A tip used by professional artists

To make the houses come forward in the painting, paint them in warm colours.  The background or sky will recede if painted in cool colours.  This would require you to buy warm and cool versions of the watercolours mentioned above.  Ask at your art shop if you’re not sure.

You may also like to check out a later post on how to create a vibrant and interesting still life after Schiele.

Courage – Daily Therapy for Artists

After 911

“One word frees us from the weight and pain of life, that word is love”. Sophocles


The Power to Say “Yes!”

Dance of Life

My quote today is from Ralph Waldo Emerson:

“Sometimes we have the power to say ‘yes’ to life.  Then peace enters us and makes us whole.”

And how does one say “yes” to life I may ask?

To me, it means embracing the unknown with confidence, curiosity and wonderment.   It could mean going a new and different way to work; it could be taking a day trip to a place you have never been before.  Perhaps it is trying a new activity you think you may not like.  It could be something simple like buying your coffee from a new place and eating lunch somewhere else.

Deepak Chopra sums it up nicely, he writes, “When you feel a new impulse, an uplifting thought, an insight that you have never acted upon before, embrace the unknown, cherish it as the newborn babyGod lives in the unknown, and when you can embrace it fully, you are home free!”

Are you a creature of the unknown or a creature of habit?