I am largely a self-taught artist. However, I have been lucky early-on in my career to have a few mentors who I continue to learn from even today. When I was starting out twenty years back, I studied at the Washington Studio School under various teachers--including my friends Lee Newman and Jack Boul--which was a great experience. In the end, however, I think all artist have to find their own way in the art world--which means developing their own voice and tendencies as an artist. This is a long process, which I think never ends. But early instruction can go a long way to set you off in the right direction.
I was thinking the other day that many artist do not have access to instructors or mentors. There are a lot of resources on-line for artist, but nothing beats live instruction. If you are looking for some live instruction, but do not have access to a school or other artist, one alternative is to rent DVDs on painting. Ten years ago there were not a lot of good DVDs (or tapes) on painting, but the situation has changed. Over the last year or so, I have rented or bought several DVDs that I can recommend.
First, the best place I have found to rent DVDs is Smartflix.com. They have a large selection of painting related DVDs to rent. I do have one complaint about their company, and that is the prices--which I think are a bit high. For instance, if you are renting a two DVD set (or more) then you are charged for each DVD. It can get expensive. But, they have a good selection and it is worth checking out.
In a previous post I recommended a couple of DVDs that are worth renting. Two are from Scott Christensen (1 and 2) and one from Matt Smith. You may like these, but there are a lot more to chose from at Smartflix. Something for everybody. They are also having a contest in August for artist. If you submit your artwork with a short background note, you could win free DVD rentals and a chance for exposure on their Blog. Worth checking out--I may send something later this month.
Well, that's it for today. Keep painting. sixtyminuteartist