A Moose! A Moose! And Choosing The Right Medium For Your Work

12:20 PM

I have to admit that every time I see a moose of any sorts I sing that silly camp song "A moose, a moose, swimming in the water!" in my head. And sometimes not in my head. It's a nostalgic melody that plays the rest of the day, and despite me trying to convey the nostalgia to my husband as I hum that crazy song, I am alone in the sentiment. He has no idea what song I am talking about, and I've forgotten all the words expect for that one line.

Moose songs aside, I found a book recently that I want to share. It's called How To Draw Anything - A Complete Guide by Angela Gair. I only found it right as we were checking out at a used book store, but with a $10 price tag I just plopped it on the checkout counter without cracking it open and it came home with me. I am so happy it did. It turns out that the book is an old favorite of mine that I didn't recognize because of an older cover!

As I was reading through it again, I was impressed by the section on drawing materials. It said, "keep an open mind about what to use for different types of drawings, and experiment with a variety of materials to see what they feel like to use and what effects they can produce." No brainer, right? Well, I love how simple things like that can teach any level of artist, because it made me think how that applies to all aspects of drawing and painting! 

Try to imagine your favorite pieces of art in a different medium. What changes about them? Is it better, is it worse? Does the medium in which the art was made affect why you love that piece so much? My first thought was, "wow, Rembrandt's most powerful work in oil surely would not be so powerful in watercolor." (Although, on second thought with Rembrandt, maybe it would!) 

When considering a composition to paint, always consider not just how to paint it, but also, with what to "paint" it in. Maybe that composition would be better drawn, or more powerful in oils, but maybe, it needs to feel fresh and airy, and so watercolor it is! I'm trying to implement this into my own work, and not just work in oil paint as much as I love it. The moose shown above I painted in watercolor to give a more free, earthy, open feeling, versus a cabin-like, rich, strong feeling. With so many different varieties of mediums, why not experiment and change it up every now and then! What are your thoughts? Do you think an artist should stick to one medium for every piece?

Shown above: (Top Left) Mary Cassatt, pastel, Sleepy Baby. (Top Right) John Singer Sargent, watercolor and wax, Simplon Pass - The Tease, (Bottom Left) Nicolai Fechin, charcoal, Lady, Side. (Bottom Right) Vincent Van Gogh, oil on canvas, Irises.

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