Art Tips and Articles

Have you ever...

Wondered what art materials your favorite artist uses?

Have you been tempted to use those same materials in the hope of producing better paintings?

If you said yes, read my Art Tips article below titled "Which brand of artist material works best?"

Have you ever...

Wished you had a friend who would whisper art tips in your ear to make your struggle to improve your painting skills easier? I know there were times in the past when I did.

Maybe you are like I was many years ago when I was teaching myself to paint with watercolor. First off, I felt intimidated by that pristine, white expanse of watercolor paper.

As a result, when I put the first daub of paint on it, I often felt panic.

I worried that the paint wasn’t the right color or it was too light or it was too dark or it was too something.

I would have loved to have my own personal mentor who would whisper to me, “Gary, that paint is just fine. Don’t worry about it”.

Instead, I struggled through many paintings until I finally realized on my own that there was indeed nothing wrong with my first brush mark.And even if it wasn’t the perfect tone, by the time I was done with the painting, no one would even notice that first stroke of paint.

No matter what you are struggling with, there are lots of other people struggling with those same problems. In my view this struggle is just part of the natural process of learning to create art.

So, let me be the friend who whispers these important tips to you.

Art Tip 1: Do art regularly and...do it with the attitude of a toddler.

The more often you do something, the more often you have a chance to learn and progress. After all, you didn’t learn to drive a car by only practicing once or twice a month.

You didn’t learn to swim by only going in the water once or twice a summer.

When you were a child, you didn’t teach yourself to walk by crawling most of the time.

Instead, you pulled yourself up, stood upright and took a step. At first you promptly fell over. You may even have bumped your head a few times, but that didn’t stop you.

You didn’t say to yourself, “I’ll never be able to do this.”

No, the thrill of learning this new skill made you try again and again until you could walk.

I’ve written these Art Tips and Articles and created the Art Drawing Lessons on this site in the hope of helping you keep that thrill of learning alive.

Art Tips 2: If you want to progress faster, study the work of other artists....and study your own work, as well.

When I was an illustrator I collected magazine reproductions of the work of fine artists and illustrators I admired.

I studied how they simplified their subject matter, how they designed their paintings, how they used color and value.

As I painted, I would draw inspiration from the work of these artists.

I would often have one of the magazine reproductions next to me as I painted, so I could try to emulate what that artist had done. It didn’t matter that I was painting a different subject in a different medium.

In part of this art tip I also recommended studying your own work.

When you paint or draw something you are really pleased with, put that piece next to you as inspiration when you start something new.

Even an unsuccessful piece of art can have a small portion that you really like. Use that small portion as inspiration for your next piece of art.

By continually focusing on the things you like most in yours and other artists’ work, you gradually evolve your own painting style.

Artists have studied, copied and drawn inspiration from each others work for centuries.

The idea is to get ideas, art tips and learn as much as you can from others, so you can make the process of creating art easier.

Articles

Do you actually decide what to paint?                                                                          What do an artist's materials have to do with art?
Measure and Master Proportion Like An Artist
How do you choose colors?


Lessons From Master Artists

The Art of Robert Heindel
The Art of David Grove
The Art of Mark English
The Art of Michael Dudash


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