Start is tough; unless you know how to deal with it
Starting painting is tempting, however it is not very easy to keep yourself motivated after a few unsuccessful sessions. There are a few reasons why people give up, and there are a few ways to help you move forward. Being a beginner artist myself I understand that although improving the painting technique is a never-ending process, keeping yourself motivated is a matter of a few simple steps.
1. Specific Goal
Art is endless, wide and limitless…and this is where most beginner artists get tired before they even start. Being full of excitement and eager to learn, diving into the deep will not take you too far. You need to break things down and focus on something quite specific. Give yourself sometime to realise what you are most interested in and then put all your efforts to improve yourself in this area. Being perfect in everything just doesn’t work. Decide landscapes, life drawing, abstract, cityscapes? Acrylics, watercolours, oils or charcoal?
If you have already understood that you can’t just specialise in every aspect of painting, all mediums, techniques and subjects, you are on the right way. Having a specific goal is the first step; setting up a plan to achieve it, is the second! Decide what you want to do and set a weekly plan to work your way towards it. The same plan cannot work for everyone. Job obligations, family, university studies might be getting in the way. Make time for your passion and organise your week in a way that allows you to focus on your art without stressing out though.
- You might find useful setting a milestone. For example, say that in the next 6 months you will finish an art book or you will learn to draw this subject. But remeber…be realistic.
- Buy art supplies. Buy what you need, not more-not less. These will be your tools for the next few weeks. Use them wisely.
- Keep records of your work. Even the silliest sketch is worth keeping in a file. This will allow you to look back in a few months; seeing your progress will keep you motivated and happy.
Even the most organised plan cannot stand alone, unless you have considered who is going to help you. If you are lucky to be attending an organised art course then Plan and Guidance are already sorted for you. If you are self-taught though you need to figure out how you will learn. Unless you are very talented/gifted, art books will need to be your best friends. Choose wisely according to your style and to what you want to learn. YouTube and Art Blogs are also valuable sources of information. Finally, if you have artist friends, do not be afraid to ask questions.
If you haven’t considered this yet, going to art exhibitions is very important too! Seeing other people’s technique will help you develop your own style. Sometimes you might be lucky to chat to the artists themselves!
The most comprehensive art course won’t help you develop your technique, unless you spend hours and hours working on it. There is no easy way around this. You need to experiment with your media, your brushes, your canvas. You need to get your “hands dirty” to understand what the best ways of working are and get yourself comfortable with them. Make mistakes, find a way to fix them and then start afresh. As everything new, practice will make the difference. Make sure you have taken the previous steps and then focus all your efforts on practicing your art. Surely, the progress will be obvious after a while.
The magical phrase said above: “after a while”. Do not expect to become the artist you have always dreamt of overnight. No one will want to buy your paintings, and even yourself will think your art is not good enough in the beginning. That’s alright. This is how everyone starts. Be patient and don’t be afraid to stop for a minute, take a step back and start again. Patience is very important and you really need to train yourself to be persistent. Be prepared for frustration but always find the courage to come back and make another step forward.
Being a beginner artist is not easy. Everyone experiences it in a different way. I am still trying to find my way around; where are you with this?
The Artist says:
“Starting painting and sketching is something magical and amazing. However, sometimes it can get a bit frustrating, especially in the first stages where you are not quite comfortable with media and techniques yet. It is quite important to organise yourself and set realistic goals. Improvement and progress is sure!”
Love Sketching & Painting