Entries in painting (10)


The Six Laws and how to Read Them - James Cahill

One of the most famous writings on art is by Xie He, "Six principles of Chinese painting", translated by James Cahill, the well-known art history professor at the University of California in Berkeley.

“Xie He (); was a Chinese writerart historian and critic of the Liu Song and Southern Qi dynasties who wrote the "Six principles of Chinese painting" (繪畫六法, Huìhuà Liùfǎ) in the preface to his book The Record of the Classification of Old Painters (古畫品錄, Gǔhuà Pǐnlù) written circa 550.

The six elements that define a painting are:


1. "Spirit Resonance," or vitality, and seems to translate to the nervous energy transmitted from the artist into the work. The overall energy of a work of art. Xie He said that without Spirit Resonance, there was no need to look further.
2. "Bone Method," or the way of using the brush. This refers not only to texture and brush stroke, but to the close link between handwriting and personality. In his day, the art of calligraphy was inseparable from painting.
3. "Correspondence to the Object," or the depicting of form, which would include shape and line.
4. "Suitability to Type," or the application of color, including layers, value and tone.
5. "Division and Planning," or placing and arrangement, corresponding to composition, space and depth.
6. "Transmission by Copying," or the copying of models, not only from life but also the works of antiquity.




Atmospheric Perspective handout 

This is a handout I made for an 8th grade student who was struggling with a landscape painting of a vineyard.


Deadpool vs. Caracalla: Portrait Lesson

Deadpool vs. Marcus Aurelius Severus Antoninus Augustus (Emperor Caracalla)
Acrylic on canvasboard
" x "

I use this example to try and engage the students with some history. I have used it with art histroy; ceramics, making a bust, and life drawing, portraits. 

I might say, "Who would win in an all-out street fight? Deadpool or Caracalla?"

The students will say, "Who is Caracalla?"


Students will gain knowledge of human anatomy and form through observation, research, and fundamental exercises. These exercises will develop skills in gesture, contour, outline, and tonal modeling. Students will explore and experiment with portrait representation. The artist’s self portrait is a tradition we will also explore within the history of art.


If the student is challanged by the materials have them try finger-painting the portrait. Even high school students enjoy finger-painting.

If you would like to see the complete ciricullum for this unit please contact me.


RIP Jim Kelly - Master of the Dark Arts

Jim Kelly, an African American actor and martial arts expert who starred opposite Bruce Lee in “Enter the Dragon,” has died at the age of 67.

Tribute to Jim Kelly
Painted cabinet door with papier mache hair.


That Which Is Known

"That Which Is Known"
9" x 12"

Seen and Not Seen - Talking Heads