The hardest obstacle for any new adult artist is to learn to love the experimentation process.
Yes you can learn from reading art books, taking art classes, and watching Bob Ross on YouTube and with a little practice you shall succeed.
Years ago famous artists didn't rush themselves when they painted. They took their time to create a masterpiece.
Art was was purposeful, and a historic archive. It was an active log of the cultures religious, political, and economical climate. It was also a way for Artist's to express their passion for the things they loved around them (landscapes/ seascapes/still life/ floral and people). Artists had deadlines when they were commissioned, but other than that they painted at THEIR OWN pace and leisure. I believe that is what makes them works of art. They did it to create something THEY believed was amazing, it did not matter what others thought, or how long it took.
Our world moves at a very fast pace, and any form of art is learned over time. Even with things being sped up by technology.When you are taking an art class give yourself the freedom to learn at your own pace. Don't put conditions, restrictions, and time limitations upon yourself. Let thoughts of painting speed and brush technique perfection go. One day you will render a painting exactly how you want it to as long as you trust yourself and the process.
Some of my greatest works came from mistakes I thought I had made in a particular painting. I have accidentally learned and created new techniques by allowing myself to PLAY.Take a break, and a sigh. Come back to the painting in a few minutes, or however long it takes you to chill. Fresh perspective can go a long way. :)
Here are some tips to help you CHILL and CREATE :)
1. Organize your painting work space before you begin.
- Lay out the colors and brushes you want to use.
- Clean your brushes & apply brush shaper soap to get them ready. Discard any crusted or ruined brushes/
- Have a completely clean palette available to use right away if you are working on a new piece.
- Get your music/ movie/ or TV show on and your favorite yummy beverage to get those juices flowing. ;)
- Lay out a tarp if you will be painting from a distance with a larger canvass and brushes, and an apron and/ or paint clothes so you don't have to stop in the middle of painting to clean yourself up.
2. Have an idea of the image(s) you would like to create
- Inspire yourself! google search random words that come to mind, and check out different images. If some inspire you download them (but do not infringe on copyrights by copying it). You can also use your favorite photography of things or people you are interested in, and paint a version of the image or just use it to get some excitement flowing.
- Some people like to read books, magazines, or newspapers to create a collage of images they can paint from. If you are still learning to paint a new subject, this is a great way to put a painting together if you have "painters block".
- Visit your local galleries and exhibits of Artists at various skill levels. Artist talks are a great way to learn what inspired the Artist to create their series of work(s) and what products and supplies they used to create it. If you really like something they do you can add it into your style, or save years trying to "guess" how the greats did it.
- Follow Artists at various skill levels in multiple painting or drawing genres and disciplines. A few minutes on Pinterest or Instagram can really get the juices flowing!
3. Buy and use a painting sketchbook to practice brushstroke and drawing techniques.
- If you are painting something for the first time it is recommended that you practice your brush strokes repeatedly until you feel you have mastered them on a separate piece of paper. You can do this by practicing from YouTube tutorials, painting and drawing books or from google images (as mentioned in .2)
4. Clear your artspace from distracting, uninspiring clutter or anything that takes away from your positive painting vibe.
- Maybe it is a stack of homework or other works in progress. Either way a fresh, clean space can clear your mind giving your imagination room to spread it's colorful wings. ;)
- If you don't have your own studio or artspace give yourself one. Even if it is one side or corner of a table or a room. Every hobby deserves a designated space to create and learn in. I.E "A hobby sanctuary." It does not have to be fancy, just a space where you can make a mess without feeling like it needs to be cleaned after every visit from you.
5. Invest in good quality student supplies
- I understand we all want to save money, but using cheap paints and brushes in the beginning are actually more expensive in the long run as they do not last long. They also do not mix or blend well, and brush strokes will not be as good. Of course you shouldn't go buy high end supplies when you first start painting because it takes discipline to control your brush strokes and amount of paint usage to hone in on your skills. . Remember your first pieces of works you are not trying to sell,and may or may not gift to someone.They are intended for you to learn, but don't give yourself a pair of shoes without shoelaces and be surprised when you trip. (Cheesy metaphor...I know. :)
6. Paint a small painting for loved ones for their birthday and/ or holiday as keepsakes
- Nothing challenges and improves your artistic ability like painting something for a loved one as there is motivation to do well. You will end up painting something awesome and interesting you may not have otherwise, and it shows them you truly care.
Conclusion: Set yourself up for success before you put a single brush stroke to the canvass.
Stephanie A.E Strugar
Certified Grumbacher Painting & Drawing Instructor.
She is a retired Certified Face/ Body & Temporary Tattoo Artist.
Caricaturist. She is currently an active
Public Speaker, Consultant, and Arts Educator in the Manitoba and greater Canada area.