Tag Archives: art

What is the Difference Between Art and Illustration

The difference between art and illustration –
©2008 Cricket Diane C Phillips, Cricket House Studios

In an illustration, there is little, if anything, for the viewer to do. All the information is there available for the viewer to see. It can be powerful. It can be mundane. There can be several themes at once but it precisely includes all the visual information the audience is expected to use upon viewing it. An illustration is a visual approach to a verbal story. Illustration is easily given words to express it that are appropriate to it.

The fact is, art is something else and represents a more interactive form of visual communication. It does require something from the viewer in order to be recognized. Art is not intended as a verbal communication represented in a visual format. Then, what else could it be? What other options are there, if it is not that?

Most art, even representational art, defies the use of words to interpret it. While its communication is often clearly evident, words pale in comparison. Art speaks in a language that exceeds the capacity of words. It is a direct link between the mind of each viewer and an intangible idea in a specific moment of an artist’s life.

While an illustration could be repeated, recreated, reinterpreted or done again, art can only be done once. Each time, art is different and each time, there is only one. While art may tell a story, its use of communication is different than that used in an illustration. Art may very well tell the viewer the entire story in one moment of time as a whole experience. Illustration will construct that story logically such that words could be used to describe each element and why it was included.

Both art and illustration have value in our world. Art is necessary to our lives and so too, is illustration, written communication and design. If a quick view is taken anywhere, there is art, illustration, design and written communications on nearly every item in some form or another.

Art is interactive to a greater degree than other forms of visual work because it is created from a different place. It isn’t pure, yet neither is it diluted. Art is a captured instant from the artist’s psych. Does it matter if anyone likes it or not? Probably, not. Does it matter if anyone “gets it,” or not? Probably, not. Those things belong to a part of the viewer’s identity and the logical mind, respectively. Art by its nature, goes beyond what can be logically defined and is neither an expression of identity nor intended to be, although influenced by it. Nor is art a reflection of the personality of the artist, although that also influences it.

CricketDiane Art 2016
Ball in circle that looks like a mouth and tongue sticking out – graphic design created by CricketDiane 2016

Art encompasses more than that and different than that. It is impossible for any two people to see the same rainbow even standing side by side at the same moment in time. Art is like that and when it is created, even more so. Its as if the whole world has melted away and only that one moment exists. All the information of that moment flows into the artwork at once, not logically, not progressively, but completely. It is true of great art and true of all other art, as well. Two people sitting side by side creating from the same moment along the same theme would never be able to produce the same thing. That is art. It is original and unique each time. It can be copied, reproduced, printed, repainted to a precise rendition but they are no more than copies. To sit down and recreate the original from scratch, so to speak, will never yield the same thing, ever. No matter how similar, it can’t be made the same as the first. An artist that tries to do that usually ends up with two originals along a similar theme – not two of the same.

Why does it matter to own an original of anything? I don’t know that. Why is it important to own something there is only one of or is the first of its kind in the world? I don’t know that, either. Those are questions the audience or the individual viewer must answer for themselves. It may be important for art to be purchased and owned by someone beyond th artist who originated it, but probably not.

An illustration after all, demands an audience to be effective. Art draws the audience into an interaction effectively whether it is sitting in the studio or on public display or owned by someone somewhere. Once art has a tangible form, it is in existence and is part of all that has been created from that moment forward. Even when it is destroyed, its tangible form still exists in the mind of its creator and any who experienced it.

Artist's Shadow - illustrative and fine art photograph simultaneously both by CricketDiane 2016
Illustrative Art and Fine Art Photography by CricketDiane 2016 and Cricket House Studios Art and Design – in this photograph, this is my shadow broken by the lines of the pavement, curb and grass beyond it – CricketDiane 2017

Art is powerful because it forms its interaction with the viewer the moment it is seen. The communication it carries is conveyed in its entirety across all barriers of language, time, circumstance and culture. Its effects are not limited by the status of the viewer nor where it is found and experienced by viewers. A diamond in a shoebox is still a diamond.

  • cricketdiane 2008 (02-20-2008)

Original post titled –

The Difference Between Illustration and Art – Cricket Diane C Phillips – Cricket House Studios – 2008

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Why I Paint, Sculpt, Create and Make Art

I paint to communicate because I know this –

Art is a dialogue between the artist and each person that will ever see that artwork. It is immediate and without limitation or boundary. There is no hindrance in the interpretation of words, meanings of ideas or expectation of rewards. It is appropriate to time, place, nationality and culture because art is a clear, direct communication. It is not silence. It is not static. Art is the communication of change and of presence here and now between the viewer and the artist.

Art is more than emotion. It moves something primal in each of us. It is the comfort of knowing we are not alone and that another has stood where we stand in our mind’s landscape and in our lives. Art is not because I told you something today through my art. It is because we chose to have this moment of dialogue today in the course of our lives with all their complexities. That is why it is important. And, that is what makes it special.

Art is a choice between two unlike minds to gather for a moment and consummate a dialogue and to compare notes on the experience of living. There may never be words for it.

Written by Cricket Diane C Phillips, 2008
February 14, 2008

Original post was entitled –

I paint to communicate – by Cricket Diane C Phillips, 2008

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Statue of Liberty painting by CricketDiane 2015 - 2016
Statue of Liberty painting by CricketDiane 2015 – 2016

Mixing Artist Paints into Designer Colors How To

[Reposted from CricketDiane blog 2008]

On Paints and Color – Tips for Artists –  2008

Written by Cricket Diane C Phillips, Cricket House Studios, 2008

Artist paints in the tube are not the current fashion colors. While some very rich, jewel tones can be achieved by using artist colors straight out of the tube, today’s color trend hues are mixed, either on the palette or on the painting as it is painted.

In order to get these tones of color, use a color chart from any paint or discount store used for wall and house paints, *(interior and exterior paint color swatches.) Using these as a guideline, mix to match.

Series colors are simple additions of white or grey within the same range. Almost all fashion colors are mixtures and blends of artist’s hues in combination. Compare to swatches and if necessary, write down the ingredients and ratios used to create them on palette cards. Be sure to dot color on palette cards and remember – fully dry is a slightly different variation of the wet color. In use, it may have to be changed to read correctly.

Complementary colors and secondary color groups can be created in either the same range of hue and tone, or for visual tension and contrast, can be dissonant to one another; for example, bright red and soft, pastel turquoise. These dissonant combinations will either brighten or grey each color when used together or near one another. They can bring objects closer to the viewer, make things appear to stand out in the composition or appear distant and muddied.

True complements used in strength, flatten the picture plane which when juxtaposed with elements of technical perspective to create illusions of depth and volume in a flat surface. Look at the work of Chagall and Gaugin for comparison.

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I’m adding this today to go with mixing designer colors from artist paint tube color –

Many home improvement stores including Lowe’s, Home Depot, Ace Hardware and paint stores for home decor and home exterior paints have small quantities of mixed designer colors in acrylic liquid paint.

These are suitable either for making art paintings directly with them or to use in mixing artist tube paints into their matching and complementary color palettes for artworks using artist’s paints.

Usually these small quantities of designer colors are found in the paint departments, are acrylic paint basically and the quantities are about $3 – $4 each. It is possible to design a range of colors to match cohesively and attractively with them by having these small jars to use for creating the matching palette.

There are of course, paint swatches also available but they can be misleading by themselves, since the range an artwork must provide needs to have a minimum of, a full palette in the dominant and secondary hue ranges to accomplish the artist’s visual tasks.

Magazine pictures and photographs of where the artwork will eventually be displayed are also misleading and it must be kept in mind that lighting alters the tones and character of paints, both in designer colors and artistic colors no matter how they are mixed.

Photography of a room’s decor can seem to be one set of hues, when in real life under natural and on site lighting, as well as the position where the artwork will be displayed, will host a much distant reality for the work.

Designer colors change and what looks right online is far different than what any of the colors would actually be, as well. Taking these things into account in the studio as the palette of colors are created, it is possible to either ignore all of it and simply create.

Or, to create using a palette that can most reasonably accommodate these difference in lighting, staging, photography, online presentations of the work both individually and in the rooms where it will be displayed as well as in matching the designer color palette used within the environment where the artwork and artist’s reputation will live.

Also, a last note – keep in mind that often in magazine publication practices and in many advertising applications, online applications and printed artworks, the color range is altered using the color levels function of various software apps. The end ranges are removed to the point on the levels charts where color graphs indicate positions of strongest color to enhance the visual impact of the photograph, ad or artwork.

Since that changes the color true visual facts, do not assume that an artwork’s color palette and paints as seen in person will match a designer or decorator themed room as seen in photographs from a magazine or online feature article.

Even if a tablecloth seems to be a certain range of color, chances are that the levels function was used to visually enhance the colors for publication and in person, artwork made to work cohesively with it will appear washed out or occasionally, completely at odds with the design colors.

For more tips and tools about making art, painting, design, creativity and making – check back with my blog. I will be adding more information from my older blog at CricketDiane as well as creating new articles and blog posts for this one.

  • cricketdiane 12-29-2016

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5 Ways to Create Something New

Finding the creative spark that brings new ideas, new inventions, new creative works is sometimes distant. Creativity can be helped along by using these 12 ways to create something new or by using some of the 12 techniques to begin the creative process.

1. Start by Finding Problems That Need To Be Solved or Solved Better –

The first way to create something new is to look for problems, issues and difficulties that could use a novel creative solution or any solution at all or a better solution than what is in use now. Brainstorming and research are helpful tools for this fact-finding process of noticing problems that need solutions.

Look for “betweens”, where one solution left open a place for another or where no solution has ever been adequately developed. A range of solutions could be created for problems that are not obvious but everyone recognizes from uncomfortable school desks that haven’t changed in over forty years to air quality issues both indoors and in cities from current smog levels.

2. Brainstorm Possible Solutions To Those Problems That Need To Have Solutions –

Brainstorming is a creative process of focusing on the possibilities while opening the creative perspective of what could work. When brainstorming solutions, judgment is set aside and every idea is simply written down on paper, post-it notes, whiteboard or large conference paper tablets. Every thought and approach is acceptable because often, these creative thoughts and ideas will contribute to the solutions which are generated as a result of the process.

Brainstorming for air quality to be improved in cities could result in ideas for big fans, jet engines to blow the bad air out of the city, or paints that dissolve the smoggy air chemically and render it clean. Among those ideas, during brainstorming they may seem silly, but by reserving judgment and disdain – those thoughts contribute to real ways that smog could be dispersed effectively. Allow the space for the brainstorming process to blossom and expand by writing ALL ideas down. Capture all of them.

3. Get a Pile of Junk To Play With –

Aside from methodically seeking problems to solve that need to be solved and brainstorming possible solutions, often a pile of junk of various kinds can contribute to stirring creativity. This does not mean go to the landfill, nor to hoard every thing that can be found. It means having access to some hybrid collection of junk and pieces that could be found at a yard sale, in someone’s basement or attic (that will let you have the stuff), at a science or marine salvage yard, at a vehicle salvage yard or thrift store. These places have random stuff that could become something else.

Once the box or pile of junk is sitting there, it is simple enough to spread it out and start thinking and fitting items with one another to see what is inspired by them. Strangely, this creativity is not as random as some people try to make it by intention, nor is it supposed to be random. It is purposeful creation and creativity using a process of discovery and innovation added to intellect and knowledge about what things could become out of it. This is a great place for experimentation and a very hands-on style of awakening the creative process which can expand from the pile of junk to drawing said invention or idea, writing it out or getting other pieces to make a true prototype of the creative idea.

4. Go Book Shopping, To A Library or To A Book Cafe –

Book stores and libraries are a visual feast for the inventor and creative process if it is approached that way. It is not necessary to read every word, nor to start at the beginning of any book, but rather to select books of interest and see what is there – and then another and another. Visual art books are interesting but books about mechanical engineering, inventions, the places and cities of the world – are all creatively stimulating. Reading a few words of interest, thumbing through beautiful coffee table style books with glossy pictures, pursuing ideas throughout the stacks of books and author’s approaches is truly a feast for the creative mind and spirit.

Whether checking out the books from the library, buying them or simply looking, by opening many different books and seeing how the author and publisher approached the problems of communicating their ideas and solutions, it enhances thinking about the many possible approaches and avenues of thought. Opening avenues to explore, trails of ideas to awaken and examine more closely, makes books one of the best and fastest ways to create something new.

5. Watch News, TV and Cable TV Shows With An Attitude of Problem Solving –

One way to create new answers, new solutions, new products, new processes, new ideas and new creative inventions and innovations is to watch the news, tv and cable tv shows, science and history shows, international news online with a question in mind, “Is there anything here that needs solving, that needs to be done better, that I could help solve?” By asking this question and keeping this attitude while watching these information rich shows, ideas and answers will come. Write them down.

It doesn’t matter how practical it is to help or not help with any of the solutions or any of the problems noticed while watching the news, tv and cable tv shows. The creative process will be awakened by both the attitude of being available to be of help to things in a greater world and also by honoring those thoughts and ideas by the act of writing down the things noticed that need solutions and possible solutions that are generated. Reserve all judgment about the practicality of being a part to those solutions since that is a complete unknown factor and single out the things noticed and ideas that are generated instead.

  • cricketdiane, 12-20-2016

Painting Ocean Waves How To Especially in Watercolors / Watercolour

This is a reply that I made to a comment requesting information about painting ocean waves – particularly in watercolor and it expresses the way to get the paint to do what you want for making a beautiful painting of the beach surf and waves –

The comment –

am trying to learn to paint ocean water, transparent water with little waves on a beach .Do you have any DVDs that I can buy, or suggest some to me,that would be good, and where I can get them, Thankyou, MILAN CVJETIC.

My response about painting ocean waves –

I’m sure there aren’t any I would watch – but that’s because it would be easier to get out some paint and play with it until it does what I want. Today, there isn’t a dvd that I’ve made about creating ocean waves in watercolor, however try this –

Imagine what the finished piece will be and the moment that you want to capture.

Everywhere there is to be sparkle, foam or waves – don’t put any paint there. Don’t wet the entire watercolor paper, but instead paint with limited areas of wetness across the page from side to side where the foam, sparkle and froth of the waves will not be.

Sounds pretty backwards, doesn’t it? In essence, paint everything in deep hues where the sea is getting deeper away from the viewer until it nears the horizon while leaving the irregular shapes of the wave crests near the viewer and where there are hints of building waves in the middle behind the detailed areas in the foreground.

There is a dry brush technique that works great for sparkle in watercolor – try it first on a separate piece of watercolor paper. Fill the dry paintbrush (stiff bristles have one set of effects, soft bristles have a different look done this way) with paint by gently, lightly dragging it across the top of the paint so it doesn’t fill the bristles completely. Then pull the color across the page drifting it across the surface in one smooth motion. Each swipe across the surface will fill in some of the color under the sparkle. This isn’t white paint in the brush, although you can do that with acrylics or oil paints.

 

For watercolors, the paper provides the only pure white in the painting, so when the sparkle happens – it is literally the paper showing through the other colors that convey visual information beneath the foam, the spray, the breaking wave froth, and the sparkly little bits that to the viewer seem to be on top of the water. It is easy to fill the brush with several colors of the water and sand to drag across the paper in front of a breaking wave to convey the sparkly foam in the shallows where we would splash and dig our toes into the wet sand.

There is a little shadow beneath each wave’s crashing froth – it can be created with a light wash with only a hint of wet pigment slightly darker than the sea water and depending on the time of day in your painting, the frothiness of the wave can be captured with swirls of very, very thin Prussian blue washes blended gently into the areas of white or using lightly wet soft bristles partially filled with a very, very thin wash of Payne’s grey. Try it on another piece of paper first.

The clouds and sky will be the same thing – where there are white volumes of clouds must be left unpainted because where the white paper is ever given a tint, it will never be white again. The horizon at certain times of day and in some weather conditions will be almost invisible and lighter than the surrounding upper sky or deep ocean areas. And, at other times it is well-defined and occasionally, deeper in color. What looks right in your mind’s eye? Clouds can be defined from the white surface of the paper using light thin washes of blueish purple, grey, or cobalt that develop the curving forms of shadows beneath their fluffy round forms.

Sunsets and sunrises, afternoons and dusk, all have particular tints to everything. As long as the tints match throughout the painting, it can be believable as if your viewer is standing at that place at that time of day.

 

The best thing to do is to have some fun with experimenting to find the different effects that can happen, but the basic rule for painting in watercolor is that white areas are left clean and lightly developed, lighter values go on first and each layer of color builds to the darkest which is painted last, rather than first as in acrylics and oil paintings.

Great fun painting – can’t wait to see the results!

– cricketdiane, 07-31-09

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