Understand why before learning how


 There's a lot of "know how" in today's world. We are fortunate to be in a world that so much information are available for us! You can learn so much by just spending an hour on YouTube if you know where to look. And the reason for so many "how to" videos on the internet is because people want to the result. When I am in a restaurant and just ate something tasty. I usually start wondering how did they cook it. Same thing as painting. When people see a beautiful painting, one of the first few questions are usually "how does he/she paint that?" It is important to learn how, the how is the action and process that can yield the result that you are looking for. But that's not the whole story. To ask and wonder about "why" is equal, if not more important than "how".

"How" is the action itself.
"Why" is the reason behind the action

 If you only know how to mix color, lay down the brush stroke, and paint what you see without knowing the reason behind each action. You won't be able to apply it to other things. I see this quite often. People came out from a master's workshop feeling great because they were happy with their master copy painting. But as soon as they try to tackle their own painting from their own source material. They are stumped. That is because they only learn how to paint a specific subject (in this case, to copy a master's painting). But they wasn't able to learn the thought process, the decision making and the translation from source to the artist's own interpretation. An article has shown that it takes more than 82,000 processors to represents just 1 second of a normal human's brain activity. Imagine the amount of thought process is behind each master's paintingA simple "how to" tutorials won't be able to give you that amount of information.

 It sounds overwhelming and intimidating, but that doesn't mean it is a mystery that you will never understand. You just need to dig a little deeper and figure out the reason behind the use of color, the brushstrokes, and each step of the painting. This is one of the reason I am very insist on explain as much as I can in my YouTube videos. You don't truly understand if you don't learn the "why". And when you are able to learn "why", you will be able to take that knowledge and apply it in your own way. 

 Quite a few of my paintings such as the above are based on one or more reference images. But rarely do I paint any painting exactly as the photo. Besides the fact that I like to paint loosely, I wish to re-imagining the subject and intemperate in my own way. I won't be able to do that if I cannot freely use the knowledge I've obtained. If you are able to truly understand the "why" behind the "how", you will be able to paint your own subject with success!



Check out my bookmark set!

 I am happy to announce that my bookmark set is now available for order. Everyone who has them is really loving them. They are made with matte finish, smooth vinyl. The bookmarks are water resist, flexible and more durable than paper. But also thin and light so they won't damage your book.
Each bookmark is double-sided with one of my artwork on each side. 
Check them out here! =)

Bookmark Set

 My 9 year-old son loves to read. He could pick up a book and spend a long time on it. When he's done reading he would just lay the book down flat so he knows where to pick up next time. That leaves a lot of open books laying around our house. I tried to find a decent bookmark for him, but I just end up grabbing a scrap piece of paper...
 Physical book is much like traditional painting. They both have this tangible, aesthetic quality to them. This bookmark set is for you to enjoy my art and your favorite read or your journal at the same time.