How Those That Did it Did it,



And How You Can do it too!











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When something ‘helps’ you, what does that mean? It means that it helps you to visualize what to do next, and that is all that it means. If ‘it’ doesn’t help you visualize what to do next, then it doesn’t help you at all.


Eugene Delacroix 1796-1863

“The closer the imitation the colder it is,” and that is the truth. Continual caution in showing only what is shown in nature will always make the painter colder than the nature which he thinks he is imitating; moreover, nature is far from being always interesting from the standpoint of effect and of ensemble. …in the work of the great artist, the feeling of the ensemble for the composition.”

- Extracts from his Journal. Art is not imitation, art is creation, not a perfect replication


Why and when are tools necessary to find relationships?

When you are unable to visualize what to do next, you need a ‘tool’, such as a plumb line, or a mirror, or a measuring technique, etc. to help you.

Pull out one of these little gold diggers, and you’ll figure it all out. You use it until something suddenly makes sense, and you can visualize what it is you have to do next. Then you put the tool down and go back to eyeballing it. “Eyeballing” is really just being able to visualize. That is all that it is. You look, and you can visualize what to do next.

At some point in your artwork you want to advance beyond your present level of ability to visualize what to do next. That ceiling you have just hit is there because you haven’t really gone beyond it before. So, the solution is to go beyond it now; to carry on, and to be more unreasonable about your accuracy. The day you stop working your butt off to get your work better than it is, is the day you have gotten as good as you’ll ever get. Sorry, but that is the hard, cold truth.

This is when the use of tools can bail you out. You cannot use your eyeballs as much, since for some reason you cannot visualize it. So, out comes a tool, something to help you ‘see’ what you have to do next, so you do it, and the work progresses to a more advanced state.

This has interesting consequences beyond just improving your artwork. When you use tools to improve your drawing you’ll find that after a short while your ability to eyeball your work has also improved. You are more able to distinguish differences. What does this mean? It means you can visualize a more advanced product than you could before. Why? How did that happen? As you continue to advance your work beyond your previous experiences, you are now adding new experiences of more advanced work, so your ability to visualize your work improves, and the need of tools is lessened until you hit your next ceiling. It is a guaranteed upward spiral; every time you think you are done, find another relationship you can make even more accurate.

The road can go up ^J^ as well as down, ‘L’ you know. Go ahead; decide which path is yours. ^J^ = ^J^ = ^J^ = ^J^  (these are ‘Bob Angels’, and are meant to be a hint about what path to consider!)


Pierre jean David D-Angerto 1788-1856

To Adolphe Chambolle

“Against juries

As for myself, I I concede to no jury of artist the right to admit or to refuse the work of their colleagues.  I want artist as well as authors to have their liberty of press, and so prevent their falling victim to the passions, and the fashion, of the moment..  I recognize but one judge for the artist –the public… Paris 1840”


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