It is the time of year for fresh starts, so do you need a fresh start?
Learning to draw and paint is a journey, and we all need to learn new skills and experiment as artists. This means thinking about more challenging material or different subject matters and techniques. You could be holding yourself back as an artist if you aren’t fully exploring your skills and your potential.
Some signs that you could need a fresh start are feeling uninspired to draw or paint, not being excited by using your art materials and not finding the time to draw and paint.
Learning to draw and paint is based on skills, but an important element is experimenting and when this part is missing we can end up in a rut and not excited anymore.
So why don’t we try things? There are all sorts of reasons why we don’t experiment and try things such as being unsure of a medium and what to do with it. Sometimes we have an idea about a medium before we have even tried it or we can be fixated on one medium and feel we can’t move on before we have ‘mastered’ it.
I myself have had these ideas, I remember a whole project I did in watercolour because I admired an artist and wanted to be as good as they were at the medium. As hard as I tried my watercolours just didn’t capture the fresh, loose and atmospheric quality of the admired artist, instead they were overworked and the colours muddy. It took a lot to be brave enough to abandon the project and admit watercolour wasn’t working for me. I continued with oils and from that day I haven’t stopped enjoying using oils, which were a joy rather than a trial for me unlike watercolours.
The idea that we have be an expert in a medium before we start it is a limiting idea. Do we really have to know everything before we start? Of course not. I have purchased art materials not having a clue what they were before, not that I would recommend doing this, but you certainly don’t have to read all the blogs and websites before you get started.
We can surprise ourselves when we realise how much we can learn so why not try something new. It could be something small, like trying out a different pencil grade, a different colour paper, or scaling up or down to a different paper size.
If you have some resistance to trying something new you might want to ask yourself why. The truth is we don’t know our strengths and weaknesses until we have experimented with all sorts of materials and subject matter.
Do you need a fresh start and how are you going to go about it? Why not share your ideas below.