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Importance of Looking at the Masters

Sorolla: The Three Sisters on the Beach

As we stand before a masterpiece, we are not mere onlookers; but instead students eager to unravel the secrets of artistry. The great masters unlock a world of knowledge, offering us profound insights into the mastery of colour, light, technique, and composition. By immersing ourselves in their works, we are given the keys to evolve and refine our own painting skills. Excited to finally be launching in the coming weeks, my Brush Flow Community is very much about learning through discovery and practice.

I am delighted to unveil the first part of my video series, ‘A Look at the Masters,’ where we will explore the genius of Sorolla. This Spanish painter, renowned for his handling of light and colour, will be our guiding star.

I invite you to savour a preview of Sorolla’s mesmerising work, “Las tres hermanas en la playa” (The three sisters on the beach). Here, Sorolla does not merely capture a fleeting moment; he shares a precious moment in time with the beautiful dance of sunlight upon the sea, intertwined with the pure essence of youth. Join me as we embark on this journey to learn from the best and see the world through the eyes of the masters.

What can we learn from Sorolla’s mastery? The answer lies in his exceptional skills, the choices he makes in colour, and the emotions he stirs in the hearts of those who look upon his work. Sorolla’s paintings are a masterclass in capturing the beautiful qualities of light. The shimmer of the sun on the water and the subtle gradations of colour in the shadows and highlights teach us to see and replicate the qualities of natural light.

The brushwork in “Las tres hermanas en la playa” is loose and energetic, reflecting the spontaneity of the waves and the gentle breeze. Sorolla’s technique is a lesson in the power of suggestion; with each stroke, he builds up the forms and textures that make the scene come alive. His approach encourages us to be bold, to use our brushes to convey movement and life, rather than just to outline static forms.

Colour is another of Sorolla’s strengths. He does not shy away from vibrant hues, but he balances them with an instinctive understanding of harmony and contrast. The pink of a dress, the golden sand, the azure sea and his beautiful use of greys—all are rendered with a sensitivity to how light affects colour. By studying Sorolla’s use of colour, we learn to create a palette that breathes, that speaks of the time of day, the climate, and the atmosphere.

As part of my upcoming Brush Flow community, I will be sharing a video series titled “A Look at the Masters,” where we will explore the works of such masters as Sorolla. This series is an invitation to join a journey of artistic growth, to understand the techniques and insights of the greatest painters in history. We will delve into the fine details of their work, understanding not only their methods but also the vision that drove their creative process.

Studying Sorolla’s paintings is more than an exercise in technique; it’s a way to learn to see the world differently. His depiction of light and colour can change the way we approach our work, encouraging us to capture the warmth of the sun or the coolness of the shadows with a new perspective. It teaches us that the true essence of a scene lies not only in its physical appearance but in the feeling it evokes.

This glimpse is just the beginning. In each episode, I’ll delve deeper into the artist’s realm, exploring the intricacies of their work with a keen eye. Allow me to offer you a preview of why ‘A Look at the Masters’ is not just a series—it’s a cornerstone of the Brush Flow Community experience.

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