gabor svagrik blog

Hardwork vs Talent

gabor svagrik_oil painting

All of us are on different art levels.  There will always be someone who knows less or more than you. This is what makes our art community such a rich source of knowledge and inspiration. We give each other hope and support to improve our craft. I have artist friends whose work I admire and always drool when I visit their studios.  It humbles me, and upon leaving, it makes me realize that I have so much more to learn.

On the other hand,  there are painters that have less knowledge and experience than I, and I feel blessed to share what I have learned. Actually the very focus of this blog is to help others anyway I can. I want to help you become more knowledgeable and confident in your art journey.  

Out Last Them

With that said, I truly believe that we all have the ability to improve no matter what stage we are at.  We all have the ability to gain knowledge. Do not let anyone convince you that you won’t improve and become better at your craft.  Time spent is time gained.

There are artists that have more “natural” talent than others. But talent, we all know, will only take you so far. I know myself that I have out lasted most of those whom at the time seemed to have more drawing skills, better brushwork, and well designed paintings than I,  because I never gave up the hard work and hours at the easel even when I felt that I was going backwards.

I never will forget what Larry Bird said about talent. He told the reporter: “he was notas talented as some players he played alongside, and knew he needed to practice 3 times as hard as them because of it.”  He went on to become a basketball legend.

I know he was a basketball player, but this also relates to our journey. Persistence and hard work will always trump talent. I am sure you heard the saying:  “Talent is only 1 percent the other 99 percent is hard work.” It is true!  Hard work at the easel won’t guarantee you success,  but it will sure allow you a chance to shine above the others.

Read this great article about Larry Bird


2 Ways to Keep Your Colors Clean

You might be new to my teachings & my blog,  but in my online courses and physical workshops I tell my students to “keep your colors clean.” When I was learning how to draw and paint, many moons ago, I never thought about cleaning my brushes. All I wanted to do was paint and have fun. The truth is the more I painted the more I saw the benefit of keeping my colors clean. Here are 2 techniques to accomplish clean colors.

painters palette

1 | Palette
When you squeeze out fresh colors they are pure. No other color has been mixed into them. As your painting progresses you will dip your brush into other colors and mix them on your palette to create another color and so on until your palette is full. 

Solution
From time to time use your palette knife to scrape down your mixed colors and toss them out.  This will keep your freshly squeezed paint pure and your colors accurate. This is especially important for the sky area of a painting. I have seen painters with green skies on a sunny day. This is because they mixed a color that did not start from a clean pure white.

2 | Brush & Paper Towel

I see this problem far too often in my workshops. Painter’s wiping their brushes on the same paper towel throughout half of the painting. This is a NO, NO. If you do this then your brushes will not be clean, especially when you need to get into color delicate areas. For example, when softening an edge on a distant mountain or pulling a dark tree top into the sky is when a clean brush will really matter.

Solution
Keep a roll of paper towels under your arm. Clean your brushes on 1 paper towel no more than four to five times, and then toss it.  There is no need to buy expensive paper towels. The point here is to clean and toss. Also having too much paint thinner in a towel is not healthy, so it is a win-win.

The bi-product of the two above techniques will be the bright freshness in your paintings.  I guarantee if you practice this the next time you step in front of the easel you will be more conscious the ideas I stated above and start to see improvement in your color cleanness.