Drawing from life is a useful discipline. You should sketch your family as they watch television or as they read a newspaper. Study their profiles and move your pencil lightly and quickly over the page. My method for drawing a person is simple. every figure had five circles (one for the head two for the hands and two for the feet). every figure has eight “x”s. Put an “X ” on each shoulder blade, on each elbow , on the two hips , on the two knees and you have your eight “x”s. Try this out using a newspaper with pictures of footballers or models. Put circles over the heads hands and feet. join up the “x”s and the circles and you will have a matchstick man or woman.
Very difficult to paint unless you observe every minute detail. They can be scumbled in by dabbing a brush but this is trial and error painting.I find it better to work from dark to light. paint the bank of a river dark and then put in the flowers or leaves as the case may be.
In landscape paintings the foreground is more detailed and has strounger colours. A rock or a leaf in the foreground can be seen clearly but if they are some distance away they appear blurred and blend in with the background.
Foreshortning is difficult when drawing figures or arial views but if you master it the pictures are more dramatic and exciting
This is a very interesting subject.How do you know if a piece of art in genuine. It has never been easy and still works today. An English forger called Eric Hebborn wrote “The Art Forgers Handbook” in 1997 ( I think that was the year ) . He gives advice on how to find old paper for his forgeries and how to make the ink and tool to add authenicity to his work.
Tom Keating, another British forger also wrote a book called “Fakes Progress” in 1978. he went on to produce forgeries of the masters such as Rembrandt, Goya, Van Gough as well as other lesser known artists.
Hans Van Meegeren was active as a forger in Holland. He knew the old ways such as making Lapis Lazuli which is now called Ultramarine or Vermilion from Cinnabar. Incidently, Hermann Goring, the natzi owned some of those forgeries. Van Meegeren was accused after the war of selling the paintings to the natzis and had to paint a forgery to prove he had not stolen it.