Composition sketches

I like art books. Books about artists or certain styles or periods. I’m often not too interested in what is written about the art but rather I’d like to look at the pictures. I am often just impressed by the way a good artist can capture a part of our reality. However, art books are usually quite expensive because of the quality of the pictures which needs to be fairly good so that the reader can fully enjoy the art included in the book. Then I sometimes think that it is quite an expensive hobby to have, because I often finish these books quite quickly. I do often go back to them and have a look at certain pictures on a regular basis. But it can happen that I do have a bit of a bad conscience when I spend so much money on a book and actually spend so little time looking into it (especially when compared with a paperback novel which is rather cheap and you can spend weeks with it). But recently I’ve remembered a short article by Larry Seiler on Wetcanvas who suggested to his students to do little composition sketches. So this is what I did, too. And what can I say, it was amazing. You immediately spend more time with a certain picture and – even more important – you look more closely. I did perceive more aspects of the pictures than I would have by rather looking at it. So here’s my plan: With every new art book – or even with some of my old ones – I will make at least to some of the pictures some composition sketches. This will lead to the fact that I spend more time with my expensive books, that I do look more closely at the pictures and that I – hopefully – learn to draw better and to have better ideas about the composition of my own pictures.

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