Beginner Art

Just Start Something

This blog post is all about starting something and how important that is, this is advice is so simple that it seems that there should be more to it, so I will explain why this simple advice is so important to those wanting to draw and paint.

Over the many years that I’ve been now teaching art I see learners coming up with all sorts of reasons not to start something.  This is sometimes disguised in many ways, one such manifestation seems to be the need to have just the ‘right’ paper, material, or colour to start a project.  Another is lack of time and putting other things first like cleaning or watching television, another is ‘lack of space’ and not knowing enough to start, having to attend numerous courses or watch many YouTube videos before starting. Sound like you?

Painting of a feather
Start small by painting simple objects

Do you recognise any of these delaying behaviours? I certainly do and I have made all those excuses not to start.  I’m not suggesting for a moment that some of these barriers are not real, I have had very little time, no space, not known about a technique or material, felt the need to do lots of courses and so on.  Sometimes we have valid reasons not to start and there is nothing wrong with wanting to gather information and knowledge before you start and perhaps a good idea.

We do however need to be aware of the dangers of putting thing off, unfortunately there is usually never going to be enough time, you are never going to know enough and there may never be enough space and so on, but you can still start!

Pen drawing of a plant
Start small, but start!

Dangers of Delaying

The issue with these delaying tactics is that the years slip by, and we still haven’t got started.  There are many retired learners whom I have taught who find a love of art in their 70’s and 80’s and in many cases, they often report ‘they wish they had started earlier’.  I can resonate with this idea as there was a time when I stopped drawing and the fear of thinking I wasn’t good enough stopped me from starting again for many years.

Drawing of a flower
Small tasks everyday are better than one big project.

Start Small

If you feel overwhelmed to start drawing or painting or you just don’t know where to start, then start small.  A sketchpad is a good place to start, set yourself some tasks such as drawing for ten minutes a day.  Write a list of suggestions don’t you don’t spend time wondering what to draw, for example:

The view outside the window

Something below my eye level

Something above my eye level

A flower or plant

A household object

And so on.  These small steps will get you started, and you don’t need lots of materials or space to do these activities.  Small things will lead to bigger things and soon you will feel more confident to take on new materials and subject matter, so go on get started!

2 thoughts on “Just Start Something

  1. Procrastination is such a blocker. Another is a pristine blank sheet of paper, in the early days I found that messing it up a bit with random marks could be enough to get the ball rolling.

    Showing up is good but not enough. Showing up and doing is the key, even just 30 seconds a day to form the habit. It won’t be long before 30 mins will have rushed past without noticing.

    1. I have many problems with not just starting myself, I think it is avoidance and fear. I agree that showing up regularly is the key thing.
      I think I will write a blog post about how to show up everyday, even when you don’t feel like it! Thanks for your thoughts, any ideas that can help our readers are welcome.

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