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Guide to painting like an impressionist

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In Paris, he drew 640,000 fans over three months. In London, he sold 5,000 tickets a day. And on May 30, his tour arrived at the Philadelphia Museum of Art to fanfare and tie-ins. For a guy who died in 1906 (and wasn’t too popular before that) Paul Cezanne sure seems like a ’90s star. The palatial museum is crammed with 180 of his Postimpressionist works; reservations are essential. But if you can’t make it, don’t fret — stay home and sharpen a pencil along with your artistic skills. You too can draw like Cezanne.

Salut! Can’t afford a Cezanne to hang over the couch? Well, follow these easy steps and paint one yourself! Not only is art fun and profitable, but it’s also a good way to work through those repressed feelings about your folks! Here’s how:

Un Brood for hours over the arrangement of apples, oranges, bits of crockery, and soiled linens. Then find the center of the paper by drawing lines from the corners. Find the horizon line and the vanishing points. Now pause, languish in your torment, swig some turpentine, and obsess on your themes.

Deux Try to steady your eye and thumb to measure the center of your still life. Search for the rhythm of the subject, keeping in mind that your painting, while not a real Cezanne, should still be structurally convincing yet formally independent. Paint till you reach the edge of the canvas.

Trois Though some artists have become successful by painting the same thing over and over, don’t expect immediate wealth, critical acclaim, and parental approval. Your career will be dogged by repeated rejection and failure…if your liver doesn’t give out first.

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