Art Classes/Courses · Beginner Art · Drawing · Painting

6 Things Beginner Artists Need to Know

If you have just taken up art I have some thoughts that might be helpful to think about:

1.Buying the Materials is the Easy Part!

I think it is great that I always get so many learners joining my courses in January of every year.  The pattern is often the same, they have given a set of paints by a family member for Christmas and signed up for an art class.  The hard work then starts, some don’t realise that learning to draw and paint is not that easy.  You will need to put time and energy if you wish to see results.

2. Drawing from Life is Important

I meet learners who only want to copy images, this is fine but if you really want to learn, drawing from life is essential.  Drawing from life gives you the opportunity to see subjects in real space and time, in three-dimensions.

3. Drawing is the Foundation for Painting

I meet learners who tell me they don’t want to draw only paint.  I can understand the lure of painting, the colours and texture of paint is very exciting and all those new tubes just waiting to be opened. Without a foundation in drawing  however painting will be more difficult.  I recommend spending five weeks at least concentrating on just drawing if you are a complete beginner or at least do both drawing and painting.

4. Be Prepared to Experiment

The process of learning to draw and paint is much easier with a open mind, this is why children enjoy art so much.  You need to be in a space that is free of pre-fixed ideas about what is good or bad art.  Learning about materials involves experimenting, this may not happen at first but at some stage you have to stop the tendency of asking for answers and explore for yourself.

5.  Share Your Work

There is so much to be gained from showing others your work, although this isn’t alway appealing at first.  If you can find a few supportive friends who are encouraging but also truthful about your work it can really help you progress. Other people will see things in your work that may not have been obvious to you.

6. Find Your Unique Style

This could take a while to develop but remember that everyone has their own unique style in art.  Success comes when we fall into the area of drawing or painting that most suits us.  Try out all the media and techniques and one or two will resonate with you.  This stage is very exciting when you find the part of art that you most enjoy.  It is fine to admit that we are not a natural watercolourist for example, because your area might be pastels.  After working with so many learners most of them find their niche area eventually and this is when progress tends to happen more rapidly.  Of course you don’t have to specialise either, many enjoy using all the mediums.

What do you wish you knew when you started out?  Share below…

5 thoughts on “6 Things Beginner Artists Need to Know

  1. When I started out, I didn’t know that varying the pressure of your pencil on your paper made a huge difference to your finished drawing. I like to have darker outlines to suggest shadows, and barely there ones for highlights in my line drawings.

    1. Good point. Yes I’m realising more and more that it is so important to get confident with materials. Even after years of creating art I’m still learning about materials and what they can do, that is why it’s great to keep a sketchpad and just make marks, play with the media.

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