You have most likely seen paintings from museums, art galleries, exhibits, and the internet. Though all of us have different tastes and preferences, many of us are captivated by the same well-known artworks like Michelangelo’s The Creation of Adam. But the thing is, how do you define the term masterpiece in the context of art? What constitutes a masterpiece? Most importantly, how do you make one? These three are just some of the common questions people ask when it comes to aestheticism. In today’s article, we will feature some of the world’s greatest artworks and use them as examples of how to make your art a masterpiece.
The Creation of Adam by Michelangelo, c. 1508-1512
Have you ever been to a museum and saw a painting that struck you and made an impact on your life as a creative? Well, most of us definitely have. How did you feel when you first saw the painting? What are your emotions? These two questions are also important when evaluating an artwork in order to qualify it as a masterpiece.
What is a masterpiece? This question has been very hard to answer over the past few decades due to the fact that styles and artistic movements change drastically as the notions towards art become subjective. The word masterpiece has been used over and over again in millions of artworks to the extent that it has somehow lost its original essence, as if it was lost in translation. These days, anyone can say that a certain art is a masterpiece, as long as they like it.
However, quite a long time ago, things were very different. Consider going through the different artworks that withstand time and make a little comparison. Scroll through from the artworks of Botticelli to Rembrandt to Van Gogh to Pollock to Warhol to Basquiat and the modern art school graduates. Notice the difference in terms of style? Though there’s nothing wrong with modern artworks, it’s just worth noting how styles changed through the years, and so has the definition of a masterpiece. The thing that we can learn from this is that our sensibilities towards artistry and craftsmanship differs. But, such shouldn't divide the society because art, after all, is the great equalizer of people and cultures.
What Constitutes a Masterpiece?
Now that we’re near discussing how to make your art a masterpiece. Let us first go through the elements of a masterpiece. After all, you cannot judge or create an artwork if you do not know the elements and criteria that determine a masterpiece. Remember, even though the definition differs from one person to another, there are some certain qualities and elements that are the same. Moreover, knowing the elements is one of the steps in creating a masterpiece.
Significant impact on feelings and emotions:
Earlier, we’ve asked you some of the most important questions whenever you see and judge a piece of art. A masterpiece will not just affect your eyes and be like, “wow, I like this art,” but it will also create a deep impact on your feelings and emotions, as well as a lasting impression on you as a creative person. Regardless of what painting you’re looking at, a masterpiece must invoke feelings like admiration, curiosity, or a brainwave moment--urging you to create an artwork yourself.
Morgan le Fay by Frederick Sandys, c. 1864
Style and technique:
Every master has his/her own style and technique. It must be uniquely developed. He must be able to perfectly materialize his imagination and vision. To put it in the words of David Stoltz, a renowned artist and sculptor, “Essentially, a master gets out of his own way, leaving his ego to the side as the creative process takes over.” Most of the time, whenever we see a masterpiece, we get so fixated with the artist’s captivating style and artistry to the point that we forget about the artist and focus on the painting instead. Now, that’s a real masterpiece.
Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci, c. 1517
Balance is a principle of design that aims to distribute the visual elements of an artwork. If a certain piece of art is artistically balanced, it simply implies there is a stability that makes the viewer comfortable instead of uneasy whenever they see the art. Moreover, it does not create tension upon the eyes. The state of equilibrium in an artwork is essential because our visual reception responds to such, which makes it intuitively comfortable upon our perception.
The Fairy Grotto by Currier and Ives, c. 1867
Just like music, artworks need to have harmony as well-- the sense of coherence that brings together the colors, textures, and the other elements. Having a visually harmonious artwork will bring the painting together and give it a sense of unity which will make the artwork more appealing and aesthetically pleasing.
Find Out How to Make Your Art a Masterpiece
Try to Create Artworks Everyday:
This is a challenge towards yourself that will help you reap benefits. The majority of the artists that we know and love today mastered the art of practicing and creating artworks everyday during their lifetime. Though all of them may not be considered as a masterpiece, such can be a motivation to create even more. Take Picasso and Van Gogh as an example, Picasso created over 100,000 artworks yet only some of them are regarded as a masterpiece. Van Gogh did the same yet he didn’t have any recognition up until his death.
Use quality products:
High quality products that professionals use perform better and last longer. It will give you the assurance that you can create quality artworks without having to worry too much about the damage towards your artworks, reputation as an artist, and your finances.
Always work hard:
Focus on your goals and don’t forget to strive to do better every time because there’s always room for improvement.
Avoid self-criticism and comparison with other people’s work:
Do not criticize your work. Instead, if you’re looking for opinions, ask for constructive criticism from others. Do not take it offensively but use it to improve your work. Moreover, do not compare yourself with others. They have their own style and technique, and you have your own. You may use them as inspiration but not as a source of comparison. Comparing will just stunt your growth as an artist.
The secrets of how to make your art a masterpiece are no longer secret, so it’s time to create your own work. Good luck on your artistic journey.