Pierre Bonnard Quote
Today we are looking deep into a great quote by a talented painter named Pierre Bonnard.
“Speaking, when you have something to say, is like looking. But who looks? If people could see properly, and see whole, they would all be painters. And it’s because people have no idea how to look that they hardly ever understand.”
I thought this was a great quote by Pierre Bonnard. Creating art really does make you see in a whole new way. Finding relationships with each side, subtle value changes, patterns…most of these things are overlooked by others.
Here’s a nice Bonnard painting I photographed at The Met, NYC.
This is a detail shot.
This is the man himself; Pierre Bonnard as a young artist.
As you can see, Bonnard isn’t concerned with realism. He’s more interested in composition, patterns, and color. By looking at his work you can safely say you don’t have to draw very well to become a painter.
Below we can see a preliminary drawing for one of Bonnard’s paintings. Nothing too amazing to the untrained eye, but if we look closer we can notice he has composed this in a unique way. He’s using design techniques like the ellipse to unify the objects. A very rough sketch, yet showing signs of sophistication.
In the final painting he decides to make a smaller ellipse that doesn’t swoop around the large dark shape at the bottom. Bonnard also creates another diagonal from the arm of the waiter, which adds to his gamut. There’s other diagonals in the woman’s neck shadow, and the back of the dog…all creating a hidden repetition.
Here’s another rough preliminary sketch. As you can see, you don’t have to draw well to create art. Of course it helps if you study anatomy, lighting, etc, but maybe this is the look you are striving for. Just as Matisse creates some paintings that resemble the craftsmanship of a 3rd grader. That was his artistic style. Just be aware of the design techniques to communicate your message with visual clarity.
His finished painting is much more refined with design techniques.
Here are some more great Bonnard paintings.
This one is interesting because you don’t notice the woman knitting in the foreground until you begin to read the painting.
We can see how he’s using the Root Phi grid to loosely organize his painting. The door, the plate on the table, the back of the woman parallels the reciprocal, her arm locks into the reciprocal, the left arm of the chair parallels the sinister diagonal…
Here he is as an older man. Full of wisdom, experience, and overflowing with artistic passion. Hope this inspires you to get out there and create art. Even if you aren’t the best draftsman in the world, you can still learn design techniques and stand with the masters! Thanks for all of the continued support everyone, all of the comments, likes, and emails mean a lot!!!