Art: Exciting WOW Moments

WOW  moments for artists:

I was listening to a podcast by Darren Rowse (from ProBlogger) who was talking about light-bulb moment experiences, and that got me thinking about artists and how they are affected by WOW moments too.

Art & Wow moments

A5 watercolour painting: Soil erosion.

The Aaah-Aaah moment of discovery:

Often we have known of a certain principle or theory for a long time, and thought “Oh I know all about that!”  Then suddenly one day you hit on how important and fantastic the concept really is. Just something about the concept just ‘jumped out at you.’

It seems to have a greater meaning for you personally. It’s such a Wow -moment that you want to go out and tell everyone. Oooh, but they’re still in the `impassive mode’ you had been in, that they look at you blankly, much to so say, “What’s so significant about that” look on their faces.

Considering that people absorb and learn things differently, sometimes when something is expressed in different words, the concept becomes clearer, has a different connotation to it. You see it from a different angle… That’s the moment you whole life seems to come alive with new expectations. You can’t wait to try it out for yourself.

When teaching new art students, they don’t always understand the things you tell them. It all goes over their heads… as they continue doing their thing. It’s only when they have experienced something, that a WOW -moment occurs, and then they get really excited.

In fact: Wow -moments actually are fundamental aspects of art.

Why Wow -moments are important to artistic creativity!

  • Wow -moments stir artists’ imagination. Without imagination you can’t create fantastic masterpieces.
  • When expectant things occurs while painting, you need inspiration on how to fix the problem or how to run with what’s happening on your ‘canvas’.
  • An artist, who doesn’t experiment with new concepts, theories and techniques, doesn’t grow as an artist. Working in a rut, is to stagnate and turnout boring stuff, day after day!
  • Artists need Wow -moments, if they are going to WOW people who view their art.
  • Wow-moments enable you to see the inner beauty of a scene, so that you can give your painting more impact and Oomph!

WOW-moments often occur when:

  • You have a problem to solve.
  • When thinking about what you have heard or read somewhere.
  • Doing research and `reading between the lines’.
  • Immersing one’s self in the concept you’re researching.
  • Gathering more info on your topic you are researching.
  • Happens when taking down notes, making lists, drawing diagrams, summarizing facts, etc, making it possible for the bare facts to stare you in the face, trigger off a light-bulb concept.
  • Sometimes you need to ask yourself `silly’ way-out questions and letting your sub-conscious takeover. Looking at the problem from a different angle helps to see beyond the norm.
  • When you weed-out the rubbish that doesn’t apply to the circumstances or fit the equation, you are able to adjust or shift the concept into its rightful slot.

When the WOW -moment actually occurs:

It injects into your mind such powerful suggestions, that it blows you mind.

Often there is a flooding and swirling of ideas around in your mind, that you feel you can’t catch it all in a `net’, all at once. You fear you may forget something in the process of trying to contain and remember it all!

Have you ever had that experience?

And also, scared someone may come by just at that moment and interrupt your digesting of those new vibrations of thought and cause them to vanish completely (like a puff of smoke) before you’re able to fix them in your mind or record them fast enough on paper?

Have you ever had that experience?

So now you have these exciting new concepts of thought, what are you are to do about them?

The concept of what you have just learnt is a new tool in your hands.

  • Try them out, experiment with them?
  • Re-organize them to suit your project?
  • Have you the courage to use them?
  • Has anyone else thought of it?
  • Can you employ and exploit it?
  • What will people think? As long as it improves your skills and the quality of your art, then do you care what people think?

So why do some people not have WOW -moments?

  • Obviously they don’t take time out to dream a little, think more deeply about things or investigate a concept that intrigues them.
  • Or they think brainstorming is a waste of time.

Let me tell you, all the great inventors did it. Michelangelo did it. And so did Leonardo da Vinci do it!

So, if you want to be a great artist, you can do it too! It’s the power behind creativity!

What to have more WOW moments?!

This website has many more art tips and painting secrets, just check on the different down the left-hand side bar on the menu pages.

All About Lost & Found Edges

Did you know?

That not many new students know the contrast of tone controls the perspective and dimension of objects in their paintings, or how the quality of edges can turn a mediocre painting into a masterpiece just by:

  1. Creating a 3D effect: In order to see form within paintings, from that of its surroundings, one has to be able to judge the difference and contrast of dark and light tones.
  2. Using lost and found edges: Controlling the quality of contour edges adds drama to your paintings and helps to settle objects comfortably within their surroundings.

 It’s a fact that without these two factors, a painting will mean nothing if people can’t distinguish what is actually in your paintings. All is not lost if you read on….

All you need to do is use strong contrast.

The strong darkness of the dry trees gives the watercolour depth.

What are ‘Lost and found’ edges?

Lost and found edges describe the quality or state of perimeters, ie outer contour edges of shapes, brushstrokes and planes.

Found-edges are sharp-edges or hard-edges. They happen when the paper is dry.

  • Neat detail has sharp-edges and outlines. Detailed things are seen as static.
  • Neat well-defined contour edges and brushstrokes are easily read.
  • If sharp-edges are overdone, your painting looks lifeless, contrived and stiff.
  • Sharp-edges convey an object has sharp edges, eg: knife blade, jagged rocks, etc.
  • Sharp-edged planes: Example mountain ranges. If the contour edge is sharp all along the mountain range, it isn’t natural. Perspectively, things in the distance are out of focus. You only find sharp edges where there is a distinct severe cliff face. Rolling hills have soft-edged contours.
  • If all the things in the painting are sharp-edged the painting looks stiff and contrived.

Lost-edges are soft blurred edges, that is blended contours and graduated auras between form and its immediate background. This happens when the paper is wet or damp.

Things that live grow and move:

Examples: grass, trees and washing on the line blow in the wind. The wings of flying birds are not easily seen because they are blurred. Therefore:

  • Soft-edges suggest movement, action and motion.
  • All moving things are blurred. Moving feet and bicycle wheels are blurred. You don’t even see the feet of people walking in the distance. This confirms that fewer brushstrokes say more.
  • Blurred contours also suggest that something is round, sphere shaped, like balls, eggs and rolling hills.
  • You create mood when you blur things.
  • Blurred areas imply smoke, mist and mystery.
  • Blurring suggest atmospheric dimension (aerial perspective).
  • Importantly, soft-edges stimulate our senses and create emotion.
All edges

The difference between lost and found edges.

All things have shadows.

The egg has a round contour, therefore its shadow edges are blurred.

How do you make lost and found edges?

  • You get lost-edges when your watercolour paper is wet or semi-wet.
  • You get clear found-edges when your watercolour paper is dry.

Where do you use lost and found edges?

  • Lost edges are generally used around the outer edges of your painting. Why, because this creates a tunnel effect, drawing the eye inwards, into the painting and towards the main point of interest.
  • Found-edges and strong contrast of tone are generally found at the main point of interest in the painting. Sharp contrast of tone attracts the eye, bringing the main subject into focus and giving it importance.

Why use contrast of tone?

If everything is neatly detailed at the same tone level throughout the painting, people can’t cipher what’s happening in your painting. There needs to be a big difference of tone at the main point of interest to distinguish its importance from that of the rest of the painting.

Variation of edges is important:

  • Sharp-edges make things look static, lifeless.
  • Sharp-edged objects stand out away from their surroundings. If you soften their outer contour edges they melt into place, settle nicely into their environment.
  • Blurred edges make it easier for the eye to travel over and through your painting. The perusing of the eye is not jarred from one form to another or from one plane to another.
  • Variation of edges is more appealing.
  • Blurred areas give the painting atmosphere and endless fascination.
  • Flower petals are delicate, so give them soft blurred edges. Unless of cause you want to draw attention to the main point of interest.
  • Textured things have ‘broken’ edges, intermittent contours.
  • Gradation of colour and tone along contour edges also softens an edge.
All along the edge.

Softening the edges of flower petals with gradation.

Here I did one flower at a time, from left to right.

  1. First the flower colour,
  2. Then wetted the contour edge of the flower with fresh clean water.
  3. Then I added an intermediate transitional colour to the wet contour edge.
  4. Then the green background was added to the right.
  5. I dropped in a little colour into the green background to suggest out of focus buds.
  6. Lastly I added the stamen and pistils to the flowers’ centers.

That is not all:

If you want to experience more, download the free books on watercolours on the page: Free Art Books.