A lot of people choose the appropriate equipment and study a 'how to' book, or go to a class, when facing the challenge in art of learning a new skill. This challenge is emphasised even further when they try to produce a product e.g. silk painting that will sell commercially. Artists must make their artwork design an important part of their finished product, rather than simply producing a test or experimental piece and considering it as a work of art.
Beginners must be able to draw to be able to produce good artwork design and should never neglect this skill. However it is difficult to find out just how to create a design from your drawing efforts.
If you go to an art school it can take years to complete a course on drawing and design and these skills are not readily found in any distance learning programs either. To capture the attention of the potential client, silk painters are more likely to depend on the lovely flowing, iridescent colour they can easily achieve, rather than depending on artwork design to enhance their work.
Many people discuss if silk painting is simply a craft or if it can be a work of art. It is more likely that silk painting will continue to be classified as a craft than a work of art, if quality artwork design is not evident. For an artist to demonstrate their creative intention they have to depend on more than the accidental flow of colour on their silk 'canvas'.
This is probably a very argumentative statement I am making, but in silk painting where much of the effect depends on the accidental flow of colour, I believe it to be an accurate statement. Regardless of how effective and exciting the finished results are, it is difficult to consider silk painting as a work of art unless it is underpinned by strong artwork design. Developing a 'signature' so your art work is recognised with your own 'brand', will require solid artwork design to be evident, and this in turn, will help you sell your work.
When an artist develops strong artwork design they are better able to demonstrate their creative abilities and capture the interest of the public. Occasionally an artist does have success by entirely developing their art work with the accidental use of their medium, but this does not happen very often. An artist needs both flair and competency to make sales and this is seldom achieved without the use of artwork design.
A solid work of art will be completed by artists who obviously have knowledge of the elements of design. The elements in question are line, colour, texture, tone, shape and direction. Artists need to understand the effect of all of the elements of design before choosing the ones they wish to emphasise in their works of art.
By practicing a variety of drawing skills, artists can greatly improve their artwork design ability. Experiment by drawing with a ruler to make all your lines straight; draw with the opposite hand that you normally write with; draw with a continuous line (don't lift the pen until you are finished) and use both hands at the same time. By using a light box to combine two or more of your drawings, you will find it easy to create a unique artwork design.
The right side of the brain is mainly used to develop our creativeness and imagination. Because we do not use the right side of the brain very much, the left side (controlling thinking, logic, communication etc.) becomes more highly developed at the expense of the right side. Be creative with your drawing skills as well as with your designing will further enhance the beauty of working on your silk painting.
Barbara is an Artist specialising in silk painting. She won seven of the Australian Gift of the Year Awards and developed a strong business from her art designs; at one time having 16 licenses from such companies as Shelta Umbrellas, Laurantino Bags and Fresca Scarves. She now paints commission pieces only and runs online silk painting courses. http://www.silkpaintingbygabogrecan.com/