“Fat over lean”

This week I received a comment from Jan Robinson. I feel free to share these enthusiastic words. Thank you Jan! (I would just like to add this: Don’t be afraid to make mistakes: fear is a hand-brake on your development.)

fat over lean

A comment on the post “Fat-over-Lean”

Hi, Ben.

Great article. Much easier to understand than most sites and you go deeper into the explanation as well. Thank you for that.

One word of advise for everyone:  Do not be discouraged but just keep searching and learning as you go.  I’ve obtained a huge amount of knowledge by talking with other artists, searching the web, buying good instructional books, and contacting the manufacturers – without ever taking an art class.  I also purchase mini canvases (only a couple of inches square) and experiment on them.  I test drying times, mixing mediums, etc. to see what will happen before I continue on to the picture I’m creating.  Start with smaller canvases (or boards, etc.) to get “the feel” of it and build up your confidence. If your first few pieces don’t turn out as you thought they would, just chalk it up to a learning experience and move on to bigger and better things.  You didn’t start walking the day you were born; you had to fall, get up and keep trying till you eventually were running.  Consider it a joyful activity and grow through it.


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    Late Rembrandt in Amsterdam

    Because of my short stay in the Netherlands for some portrait commissions, I had the opportunity to visit the Late Rembrandt exhibition. I got the ticket as a gift. (thank you Julie)
    What can I say about the exhibition? Staggering! Rembrandt is the greatest painter Holland ever had. In his heydays he was a most appreciated and well payed artist. Because of private problems, he became impoverished, was declared bankrupt and lost everything he owned. He could not even pay his rent anymore. In Amsterdam, he was reviled. The exhibition deals with these last difficult years.

    rembrandt Claudius Civillis

    Claudius Civillis

    Looking at one of his last commissions, Claudius Civillis I feel the anger towards the established order. Allthough the commission was acquired, it later was removed from its important place in the new town hall of Amsterdam. I see an artist experimenting his techniques and at the same  time willfully seeking for problems with his clients.


    An Old Woman Reading

    If I should name three highlights: the portrait of Jan Six, a Woman Bathing in a Stream and finally An Old Woman Reading.  This last painting really moved me deeply.

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