Building up texture with oil paints © Sylwia Bomba
3dt: Do you have a favorite traditional medium? Your oil paintings are beautiful!
Thank you very much! You're very kind! I love to feel the smell of a medium. It sounds weird but who said I am not weird! I love the aroma of fresh oil color, turpentine, rubbed carbon, and used paper. I try to experience each part of my work with all of my senses. It improves our memory and imagination.
Lately I have been trying to use old methods to use oil colors; it's very challenging but that's why I love it. I mix different substances that might influence the color. I don't just use brushes; I try to use my hands and fingers to create a connection between me and my work.
A favorite traditional medium? The one that makes all of my senses work at the same time.
Early stages of an oil painting on canvas © Sylwia Bomba
3dt: What is a common mistake you come across when teaching drawing?
The most common mistake I find is focusing on details first or trying to copy the reality without simplifying it into geometric shapes. A lot of people draw flat faces or poses just because they don't try to feel the three-dimensionality of the object. With this step, especially at the beginning of our journey in art, we need to be very patient and resistant.
Moreover, a lot of people pick up the colors from a photo or trace the main contours. It may be a faster way to trick and cheat, but the only one who will be tricked is you. We are under huge pressures to be better in a short amount of time. Comparing ourselves to others is most damaging to our art process. Our timing is different, our purpose of life is different too – that's why as individuals we are irreplaceable.
"Fear is the biggest mistake we commit. Failing makes part of your success”
Our journey should be always described in a few words: hard work, perseverance, love, and the truth. If we miss some of those steps, the art we create will be crushed sooner than we think. Trying to copy someone's style or success is like robbing ourselves from our hidden potential. We should taste, try, do a lot of research, and feed our ambitions with our curiosity. If it doesn't work, try again! Use your eyes, your potential, your story, and your emotions to create a new, inspiring style.
This miniature uses traditional symbolism of birds and flowers © Sylwia Bomba
3dt: Do you have any tips for beginner artists studying anatomy?
I think the best way to learn and understand the human anatomy is to study it on our own body. Examining our muscles and proportions in the mirror helps us to touch the knowledge with our fingers. Being an autodidact is the best way to learn. Why? Doing research by ourselves, posing questions, and being curious opens our minds and teaches us where to look, how to see. It certainly requires more work from us, but it is worth it.
Another good tip would be to read art books, and books about different periods in the history of art, to study master pieces. Collecting all that information will help us to "feel" the art and see from a different perspective.
Finally, if you start to draw, try to simplify. See different parts of the body as hexagons, cylinders, and balls. Carefully study the lines, the inclination of contours, the negative spaces, but don't overwhelm yourself with too many details. Always add those at the end of your drawing process.
3dt: How do you find inspiration?
I think we all have similar methods. All of my paintings were created under the influence of my emotions, my past, and reflections. I like spending my time listening to the music, writing my thoughts – it always brings new visions to my mind. Sometimes I just dream them and when I wake up I need to paint it. Those images are stuck in my imagination until I paint them. I try to listen to everything around me, learn from the history, from other people, listen to Mother Nature; everything can be an amazing opportunity to be inspired. The sadness, the happiness, the loneliness, or the chaos. We just need to learn to listen to the world speaking in silence.
© Sylwia Bomba
3dt: Who is your favorite artist?
I have a lot of folders in my computer named "inspiration.” There are many well known and less known artists. I try not to focus on just one or two artists – I like to find something for me in all artists. I love the dramatic lights of Caravaggio, the amazing lines and colors of Egon Schiele, the history behind Odd Nerdrum's work, Rembrandt's portraits, and Giovanni Boldini's dynamic strokes. I also admire František Kupka for his amazing sense of color – he's unrepeatable! William-Adolphe Bouguereau is one of my top artists I have loved since I was a kid. Arthur Streeton's landscapes inspire me a lot too – especially his technique of painting them! There are many other artists that are my top inspiration – but I think I would spend all my day naming them!
We hope you found this interview as motivating as we did!
Learn more tips from Sylwia on shading techniques, tools, and more in Beginner's Guide to Sketching
Get some more inspiration from these 50 awesome sketch studies
Check out A Beginner's Guide to Sketching
< previous page