Cover image for Drawing from the mind, painting from the heart : 12 essential lessons to becoming a better artist
Drawing from the mind, painting from the heart : 12 essential lessons to becoming a better artist
Compton, Annette Carroll.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Watson-Guptill, 2002.
Physical Description:
144 pages : illustrations (some color) ; 27 cm
General Note:
Includes index.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
NC730 .C655 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
NC730 .C655 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
NC730 .C655 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
NC730 .C655 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
NC730 .C655 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf

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Creating art inevitably involves a relationship between our mind and our hearts. For some, the mind - the study of technique - plays a major role in the process of being an artist. But what happens when an artist becomes so obsessed with technique that all spontaneous expression is lost? Or, what about artists who become so lost in expression that technique is gone, and they have difficulty with realizing their vision in their work?

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

An artist, teacher, and writer, Compton has produced a comprehensive set of exercises designed to develop artistic mastery via analytical and intuitive means. By addressing both technique and expression, artists explore the relationship between what they create in their minds and on paper, concurrently expanding their personal creative processes. Compton's 12-part course in guided experimentation includes an introductory section on depicting edges with a variety of drawing media; then "mind" and "heart" exercises are combined to help artists access their creative resources, culminating in end-of-chapter "studies" involving the use of works by master artists, "morning pages," and painting a still life. As the reader-artist progresses, he or she learns how to use tonal values to achieve three-dimensionality, shape forms via drawing, utilize the unique properties of watercolors and the nuances of color (including value, mood, and "temperature"), and work productively both in the studio and outdoors. Each step in this well-illustrated, endlessly helpful resource brings the artist closer to finding his or her own "voice" or view. --Whitney Scott

Library Journal Review

Hundreds of marvelous books on technique make it possible for virtually anyone to create something, however limited, but these three books help develop creativity itself. Compton (who illustrated God's Paintbrush) explores the interplay between such concepts as line and form, representational and abstract art, and the analytical mind and the expressive heart. Progressive chapters take one from simple line through massing and color to realism and the freedom that comes with passion and intuition. It's especially good for the novice; advanced artists will get more out of Betsy Dillard Stroud's recent Painting from the Inside Out: 20 Projects and Exercises To Free Your Creative Spirit. Leigh, a columnist for Paintworks and Decorative Artist's Workbook, offers a volume for decorative artists that focuses on developing creative freedom in metal and paper crafts, mosaics, collage, and decorative painting. The result is a good choice for most craft collections. Warmke's Idea Revolution is the most unusual of these three offerings. This motivational book for designers in any medium contains more than 100 brainstorming exercises. Warmke targets the major obstacles to the creative process by using the work and advice of a variety of graphic artists, creativity consultants, musicians, writers, and actors. The advice is much more grounded than that offered in such volumes as Theo Stephan Williams's Creative Utopia, which relies heavily on aromatherapy and feng shui, and the quotations alone will inspire: observes Herman Melville, "It is better to fail in originality than to succeed in imitation." Warmke's book is highly recommended for extensive art collections. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

Preface: A Visual Worldp. 8
Introduction: Art from the Mind and Heartp. 10
Lesson 1 Almighty edgep. 13
Mind Exercise: "Out of Mind" Drawingsp. 14
Mind Exercise: Kitchen Still Lifep. 15
Relationshipsp. 16
Heart Exercise: Blind Contour-Line Drawingp. 16
Mind Exercise: Connect the Dotsp. 18
Making Marksp. 19
Heart Exercise: Musical Linesp. 20
Line Drawing or Form? Your Personal Signaturep. 21
Mind-Heart Exercise: Painting with a Partnerp. 22
Mind-Heart Exercise: Portrait Partneringp. 22
Lesson 1 Studies: Great Artists to Explore Who Use Line in Exceptional Waysp. 23
Lesson 2 Within the edgesp. 25
Mind-Heart Exercise: Five-Tone Value Scalep. 25
Traveling Inward, Observing Valuep. 26
Mind-Heart Exercise: Drawing with Crosshatchesp. 26
Learning to See Formp. 27
Mind Exercise: Wire-Frame Studiesp. 28
Heart Exercise: Value Strokesp. 30
Heart Exercise: Cross-Contour Brushstrokesp. 30
Heart Exercise: Crosshatch Partner Paintingp. 31
Lesson 2 Studies: Great Artists to Explore Who Use Line and Crosshatching in Exceptional Waysp. 32
Lesson 3 Shaping the interiorsp. 35
Go with the Flowp. 36
Mind-Heart Exercise: Still Life of Shapesp. 36
Heart Exercise: Shaping the Edgep. 37
Heart-Mind Exercise: Water Shapesp. 38
Heart Exercise: Water Shapes with Regained Edge by Drawingp. 39
Working with Charcoalp. 40
Mind-Heart Exercise: Smudgingp. 40
Mind-Heart Exercise: Line Versus Formp. 41
Heart Exercise: Sculptingp. 41
Setting Your Stagep. 42
Mind-Heart Exercise: Winter Landscapep. 42
Lesson 3 Studies: Great Artists to Explore Who Use Shape in Exceptional Waysp. 44
Lesson 4 The intellect of colorp. 47
Heart Exercise: Favorite Colorsp. 48
Heart Exercise: Uncertain Colorsp. 48
The Unique Properties of Watercolorp. 49
Mind Exercise: Rainbow Fencep. 49
Primary Triadsp. 50
Heart Exercise: Color Circlep. 50
Mind Exercise: Color Trianglesp. 50
Layering Colorp. 51
Heart Exercise: Wet-on-Dry Glazingp. 52
Lesson 4 Studies: Great Artists to Explore Who Use Color in Exceptional Waysp. 54
Lesson 5 Exploring gesturep. 57
Heart Exercise: Floralsp. 58
Which Tool to Use?p. 59
Mind-Heart Exercise: Crumpled Paper Bagp. 59
Your Brushstroke Is Your Signaturep. 60
Mind-Heart Exercise: Group Brushstrokes Puzzlep. 61
Heart Exercise: Wet-on-Wet, Wet-on-Dry, Landscapep. 62
Mind-Heart Exercise: Line, Form, Pen, Paintp. 63
Lesson 5 Studies: Great Artists to Explore Who Use Gestural Lines/Brushstrokes in Exceptional Waysp. 64
Lesson 6 In the studiop. 69
Mind-Heart Exercise: Thumbnail Sketchesp. 71
Working from Photographsp. 72
Heart Exercise: Landscape Painting from Photosp. 73
Tracing Techniquesp. 74
Mind Exercise: Working from a Tracingp. 74
Using the Computerp. 76
Mind-Heart Exercise: Watercoloring Computer Scansp. 76
Surrealist Touchesp. 77
Mind-Heart Exercise: Imaginary Worldsp. 77
Lesson 6 Studies: Great Artists to Explore Who Use the Studio in Exceptional Waysp. 78
Lesson 7 On locationp. 81
Plein Air Pioneersp. 82
Mind Exercise: Choosing Nearby Locationsp. 82
Heart-Mind Exercise: Fast Paintingsp. 83
Composing a Painting On Sitep. 84
Heart Exercise: Painting Sunrise or Sunsetp. 85
What Are You Recording?p. 86
Mind-Heart Exercise: "On Location" via TVp. 86
Tool Reviewp. 87
Location Sketchbookp. 88
Heart Exercise: Visual Journalp. 88
Lesson 7 Studies: Great Artists to Explore Who Use Gestural Line on Location in Exceptional Waysp. 90
Lesson 8 Tints, tones, shadesp. 93
Value Progressionp. 94
Mind Exercise: Mixing Neutralsp. 95
Mind Exercise: Creating Tints, Tones, Shadesp. 95
Heart Exercise: Value Symphonyp. 98
Lesson 8 Studies: Great Artists to Explore Who Use Tints, Tones, and Shades in Exceptional Waysp. 100
Lesson 9 Creating moodp. 103
Mind-Heart Exercise: Frontlight, Backlightp. 104
Backgroundsp. 105
Heart Exercise: Negative Spacep. 105
Heart Exercise: Gessoed Boardp. 106
Contrast Magicp. 107
Mind Exercise: Simultaneous Contrastp. 107
Night Scenesp. 108
Self-Portrait: Your Personal Statementp. 109
Mind-Heart Exercise: Portraits of Othersp. 109
Lesson 9 Studies: Great Artists to Explore Who Use Light in Exceptional Waysp. 110
Lesson 10 Emotional colorp. 113
Color Temperature and Saturationp. 114
Mind Exercise: Color as Value Scalep. 115
Direct Paintingp. 116
Heart Exercise: Painting with Unmixed Colorsp. 116
Mind Exercise: Saturated, Desaturated Palettesp. 118
Lesson 10 Studies: Great Artists to Explore Who Use Emotional Color in Exceptional Waysp. 119
Lesson 11 Abstracting a subjectp. 123
Mind-Heart Exercise: Deconstructing a Subjectp. 124
Advance and Recedep. 126
Heart Exercise: Fast, Expressive Landscapep. 126
Freedom with Paintp. 128
Mind-Heart Exercise: Abstracting a Still Lifep. 128
Lesson 11 Studies: Great Artists to Explore Who Use Abstraction in Exceptional Waysp. 130
Lesson 12 Finding your own voicep. 133
Heart Exercise: Exploring Techniques of Expressionp. 134
Neutralize Judgmentp. 136
Heart Exercise: Group Paintingp. 137
What Do You Know About Your Work?p. 138
Afterwordp. 142
Indexp. 144