Were Cavemen the First Caricaturists?

Cavemen were indeed the first digital caricaturist – the first portraits artists – impressionists – cartoonists. They felt an overwhelming need to record what they saw in their day to day life. This was probably due to the fact that the written language had not, at that time, been invented. We should consider ourselves very lucky indeed to be able to gaze at these magnificent cave paintings. They were raw, exciting and pure. Every artist should study these examples when they get the chance.

I am going to suggest something that may surprise you. Have a look at the cave paintings. No need to travel around the country. Visit your local library or search on your computer for photographs of wall paintings executed by early man. Now go along to the nearest playschool and have a look at what the pre school toddlers produce with their brushes, poster paint and paper. You should see similarities in technique. This is no accident. All pre school children are brilliant expressionist. It is only when they learn about life that they lose the spontaneity and inventiveness that they are born with.

I believe that artists who return to a childlike outlook in their work have a definite advantage to those who follow the rules and laws of draughtsmanship. Someone once remarked that the French Impressionist painter Claude Monet was, “Just an eye… but what an eye.” If we are intending to put oil paint on to canvas, the paint should look like paint.

The brushes should leave brush marks. The canvas weave should still be visible in places. The finished article could then be called an “Oil Painting”, and not a “Coloured image”. That is the realm of digital photographers and the like. Not that I am belittling photographers in any way, but there should be a clear line between photographs and paintings.


Author: admin

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