Story-telling Art Secret #1
You Absolutely Need to Know

Discover The Creative Story Your Art Wants To Tell.

Story-telling Art Secret #1 is much like an archaeological dig.

Except here you aren't trying to discover King Tut's tomb. You are searching for the best, most creative idea for the subject you want to draw or paint.

The creative idea that best shows the story you want to tell.

The story that will excite both you and anyone who sees your art.

Let's suppose you are a cat-lover and really want to feature Bootsie, your beloved pet, in a piece of art.

You know how cute and intelligent she is. But, other people may not have seen her many YouTube videos.

Your goal is to use Story-telling Art Secret #1 to discover the great story buried in a picture of her.

How do you start?

Story-telling Art Secret #1
One simple place to begin is to ask yourself what you like in this photograph and what you don't.

Bootsie, of course, you absolutely love.

But, you have to admit your backyard really needs some upgrades.

So, you start to imagine what you could do to put your beloved pet in a more interesting environment.

To help envision that environment, you might begin to sketch ideas. This is my normal mode of creation.

Or you might use an alternative approach employed by many artists. A photo editing program. In this case, I'm using PaintShop Pro.

Your first creative idea might be to come closer to Bootsie and darken and soften the background.

You might also try extending the fence and get rid of bare patches in the lawn.

That's seems better.

But you still wonder if it would make interesting enough art.

Maybe you should approach even closer. Make the story a more intimate portrait of her.

Now, I want to point out that you can substitute whatever your favorite subject is for Bootsie.

Instead of Bootsie, the above photograph could be a landscape with a whitewashed cottage lounging near a placid stream.

You would try to discover the great story you want tell in much the same way.

Like the close-up of Bootsie, you might choose to create a more intimate story of the cottage. You might decide you're most excited by its red front door, encircled by flowering vines.

(How you transfer your excitement to a viewer is something I'll explore later.)

Story-telling Art Secret #1 is finding that great story for your art that is your own.

Not the photograph's. And it can be whatever you want it to be.

In the case of Bootsie, you could decide it might be amusing to put another cat or two in the scene. All looking in the direction she is.

Create a bit of mystery or curiosity. (What are they looking at?)

You could try shooting your own reference. Or you could look online. offers free downloadable photographs.

Turns out they have hundreds of cat pictures.

Many of them are really boring, but you might just find what you want.

As you scroll through the photos you note the ones that fit your idea. Ones where the cat is at same eye level. And looking in the same direction as Bootsie.

You imagine how each would look with her.

What you are doing is Story-telling Art Secret #1.

You are beginning to discover or create the story that will excite you to do and excite someone else to see.

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

P.S. And you are beginning to do something else as you create that story.

You are gradually developing more of your imagination. More of your story-telling ability.

More of your creativity.

And you are beginning to learn design – how to make your story visually interesting.

(I'll say more about this important subject in the future.)

For now, which story appeals to you more?

What would you add, change or take out?

What would you do to create a different story? Your own story.

And… would you like to learn even more about creating your own story in every piece of art you do?

P.P.S. Have a friend who would enjoy this article? Send it to them and invite them to join my blog. Click here to Subscribe.

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