Advice for Artists - realism Portrait painting -
"Marie in Black and Teal" by Cornelia Hernes

Advice for artists > “Be tenacious, be strategic, and be kind to yourself because frustration is an opportunity for growth.”

“Painting from life requires some amount of flexibility to move with your model,” says Cornelia Hernes. “Once you’re at the refining stage, your painting is going to be a combination of what you see, with what you have painted, mediated with what you know.”

Cornelia was born and raised in Norway. From the onset of her oil painting pursuits in her late teens, she was particularly interested in rendering the human form and emotive expressions through portraiture and mythological motifs.

During the course of her artistic and academic training, she further developed a deep affection for the genres of still life. Her current focus includes portrait painting, still life painting as well as commission-based work.

From 2007-2020 Cornelia taught at the Florence Academy of Art in Italy, Sweden, and in USA consecutively. In 2018 Cornelia brought her experience as an artist and instructor online with portrait painting tutorials and art instruction.

Advice for Artists

Q: What is the ONE tip/insight/wisdom that you wish struggling artists should know and act on now? and why?

A: Ultimately, repetition is the best teacher, however, it is helpful not to reinvent the wheel when it comes to the visual language. Finding a good resource and instructor to provide well-constructed feedback is essential for an effective learning process.

The process of learning is vulnerable as everything that one knows and doesn’t know is revealed in the painting. While it is important to engage with the elements that can be improved upon in one’s work, it is also essential to reflect on the elements that are working and to be patient with oneself as one is experiencing the various manifestations of frustration.

Remember that frustration occurs when the restrictions of knowledge arise. Although this is difficult, consider the onset of frustration as an important milestone; it is a moment where you are confronting the limitations of your knowledge.

By focusing on visual and analytical problem-solving while being on the outer rim of one’s possessed knowledge, you will hammer down that wall and gradually gain the knowledge that you are seeking.

Be tenacious, be strategic, and be kind to yourself because frustration is an opportunity for growth. Growing and learning can be painful. Appreciate the epiphanies when they are gained through your own hard work or through someone’s good advice. The epiphanies are the rewards of your struggle and appear as your mind expands with knowledge.

NOTE: Get a discount on the art video workshop “Elegant Portraits” featuring Cornelia Hernes during the Holiday Sale, December 1-12, 2023!