This is what's holding you back…

And why progress developing your art skills can seem so slow. Or only seem to happen in fits and starts.

These things occur, because many beginning artists make the process harder for themselves. They may think that, "I'm only really interested in color; I don't want to learn to draw."

Or they may assume that if they just have a photograph they like, "I don't need to waste energy trying to create a good design with it." Or change the photograph in any way.

This pick-and-choose method of only learning a few facets of art simply doesn't work. Or at least it doesn't work if you ever want to progress beyond the beginner stage.

And I am speaking from personal experience here. I can very clearly remember making those mistakes and more in my beginning years.

At one point I was staring failure in the face in two every four pieces of art I started. It was a really frustrating and demoralizing experience.

And that downer experience only ended when I finally admitted that it was all my own damn fault. Once I confessed my sins, I could finally see the solution.

And it is right there on my diagram. While it may look complicated, it is really a success plan of the Five Crucial Elements of every good work of art. (You can download your own copy of this chart below.)

Successful art is a combination of Design, Color Values, Idea, Drawing and Edges.

They are inseparably linked. It is only in combination that these five elements produce good art.

Trying to do successful art without all five elements is like trying to learn to drive by choosing to only do right-hand turns. Good luck with that.

Admittedly, you would get really good at doing right-hand turns, but you'd be like the dog chasing its own tail. You wouldn't get very far.

And that's what happens to many beginning artists.

And the really funny thing is: this process doesn't have to be as complicated as my diagram may appear.

You don't need to know absolutely everything on my chart right this minute.

But, you absolutely do need a simplified learning process where you take clear gradual steps and actually apply what you learn.

That's another lesson I've learned the hard way.

In a few of my workshops in years past, I tried too hard to give participants great value for their money. In striving to do that, I think I may have overwhelmed them with too much information and by not simplifying it enough.

I've learned that with teaching (and life) keep things simple.

Best Wishes,

Gary Gumble
Founder of
Without art the crudeness of reality would make the world unbearable. (George Bernard Shaw)

P.S. Over the next few weeks I am going to put that maxim to use in regard to my diagram.

I'm going to show you ways to simplify the process of using Design, Color, Idea, Drawing and Edges in your art.

I don't think I can do that in just a blog post though.

So I’ll be incorporating videos with my weekly posts. That way you can actually watch (and re-watch) as I demonstrate and explain the ways I've found to simplify the process of creating art.

And if there are specific things you'd like to know, send me an email at

I may be able to incorporate your problem into one of my lessons.