|Blue Heron 5 1/2 x 8 1/2" watercolour on paper|
Now for your weekly movie recommendation. I decided that in order to better keep myself organised I'd post movies and book recommendations on Mondays. So every Monday you can look forward to that, or not.
This movie is an interpretation of the many stories told about Van Gogh. How he cut off his ear and mailed it to a woman and all of the other greatly exaggerated drama that is synonymous with Van Gogh. I love it when historians bring up the, he ate his paint, story. Anyone who's ever painted knows it can get a bit out of control and the paint ends up everywhere. It only takes one town gossip to see Van Gogh with a bit of paint on his face and spread a rumour that he eats his paint. The movie shows what his friendship with Gauguin might have really been like. They were both kind of oddballs and their work wasn't taken very seriously at the time so it's no wonder they didn't always get along yet remained friends.
The movie can be rented on DVD from Netflix, streamed at Amazon Video, or check your local library or movie rental place.
The book for this week, Lessons in Classical Drawing: Essential Techniques From Inside the Atelier by Juliette Aristides. One thing about Van Gogh that some might not know is that he took drawing very seriously. Here's an essay written about his thoughts on drawing. Vincent Van Gogh: The Drawings. His paintings may make some think he had no grasp of the basics but his early work proves he knew what he was doing. One of the most important things to have, if you want to be a painter of any sort, is a basic knowledge of drawing. Proportion, perspective, control of tone, composition, they're all important and can first be learned by simply picking up a pencil and piece of paper. Doesn't even have to be a fancy pencil and paper. This book has a lot of lessons on theory and some instruction that would be worth looking at if you're a beginner, or want to strengthen your knowledge. There's a video that comes with it that is almost painful to watch. It's difficult for many artists to paint and talk at the same time, but if you're going to teach it's pretty important. If you can't there's always voice-over work that can be added to the video later, which is what this video needed. Back to the book, the end of each chapter has a lesson set up to get you to try out the concepts covered in that chapter. This is actually the best feature of the book and makes it a good learning tool. I picked up my copy at Half Price Books for around $15. You can purchase it at Amazon in hardback or Kindle version if you're interested.