If there's one thing I absolutely adore, it is the opportunity to peek into another artist's studio and see a behind-the-scenes of their creative process. I almost hate to admit it, but I have definitely learned way more in my life from watching other successful artists than from direct instruction from any teachers. Not to put down any art professors in any way, it's just that since we all have different styles, the likelihood that your professors' style is going to be what you are going for can be pretty slim.
But I digress... I am thrilled this week to bring to my readers some sneak peeks into one of my absolute favorite artists of all time's studio and drawing technique.
Alphonse Mucha (1860 - 1939) was a Czech Art Nouveau illustrator and painter who created dreamy portraits of ethereal women that decorated posters and advertisements from rolling papers to biscuits, and eventually inspired jewelry, furniture and an entire art movement.
But behind the scenes, Mucha was much like most modern-day realist artists who use photographs as drawing references for certain projects. I am sure that he, like most of us, work equally from photos and live models. However, seeing Mucha using photos, just like Vermeer allegedly using the camera obscura, brings these larger-than-life, wildly famous artists back down to earth for the rest of us to feel like we're not quite so far behind;)
I could swim in Mucha's linework all day.....
I was able to visit the Mucha Museum when I went to Prague in 2010 and it was truly incredible. His work is so delicate and precise and really makes you believe in magic and fairy tales and all sorts of otherworldly possibilities.
One big surprise I discovered in my research was Mucha's preparatory gridwork! I love it! So amazing to see this world-class, trailblazing, technically masterful artist using the same methods as many artists today. It is comforting and inspiring all at the same time.
Enjoy a slideshow of more muses and works!
Let me know what you think of Mucha, his process, or the Art Nouveau movement in the comments! Thanks!
Sources and other great resources: