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- David Koch's -

Elements of Art


Over the past 25 years, I have compiled my observations and experiences in learning the principles of art and found that they distilled down to four basic elements. It is telling to see that many other artists have distilled these principles down to a version of these same four elements. These common principles can be taught and learned. I have organized these principles into a workshop curriculum that can teach anyone to become as good an artist as they want to be.

An online version of "David Koch's Elements of Art Workshop" is underway and soon will be available to stream.

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"Surrounded" Painting Demonstration

This real-time video demonstration will show you how to design, draw, see and then paint correct values and colors, and how to unify these elements into a work of art with edge variety and brushwork.

"I Want To Get Better"


This is what all of us want to do. However “getting better” can mean completely different things to different people. It may mean learning to paint looser to one artist but it may mean painting tighter to another.


Specifically defining what "getting better" means for you is the most important thing you can do right now to begin real growth as an artist.


Here are a few suggestions to help you discover your needs.


As you see art online, at galleries, museums, art shows, in books and magazines, you will find that certain images "stop" or attract your attention. Collect and then compare these images to identify common themes.

Examples may include design, drawing, color, brushwork or subject. Be specific. If you discover that you are attracted to color, ask yourself "What is it about the color"? Does muted color or bright color attract me? Do predominantly cool or warm colors show up on your list?

If brushwork attracts your attention is it about carefully rendered strokes or different ways of paint application which produce random texture.

The results of this exercise will begin to reveal to you your artistic style.


Write down the specific skills of other artists that you admire, or maybe even envy. It is usually something you wish you could do like drawing from life.


If you had all of the skills you wanted, what would you want to accomplish with your art? Your answer will help prioritze which skills you need to learn. If your ultimate desire is to do portraits then you may need to focus on anatomy. If you want to illustrate children's books, you may want to learn about digital media.


This pursuit may take some time, however, it is time well spent. Schedule the time needed to ponder and record your thoughts and ideas.


When you have discovered one or two specific skills that you need most, write them down and place them in your studio where they can remind and focus you.


Actively pursue learning what you have determined you need to know.

Workshops and online courses can be a valuable resource to help you accelerate your learning curve.


The online version of my workshop series "The Elements Of Art" will provide you with hands-on exercises you can do at your convenience in your home or studio.

To make this online course as beneficial as possible, I would like to include in the curriculum what you found out by completing the previous exercises.


Click the button below to let me know what your artistic needs are.

Thank you.

David Koch

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