Beginner Art

Four Ways to Kickstart an Art Habit

Sometimes even the best of us lose motivation to draw and paint.  You may have taken a few classes and felt enthusiastic to try things and purchased art materials then, weeks or months later you find yourself in a state of inertia where you can’t seem to get yourself motivated.

There is something very energising about creating with others and once this creative community is taken away creating artwork in isolation is much harder and you may find that you stop altogether, so how can we kickstart our art habit once more? In this blog post I will suggest some ideas.

Drawing with colouring pencils
You could try a new art material

Try a New Art Material

This usually works for me, ordering some new art materials and maybe something I haven’t tried before is bound to spark a bit of interest and get me experimenting once again.  A recent example was when a friend gave me some polystyrene tiles which I used for printmaking.  It gave me the idea to try out some backgrounds and create some texture by imprinting the polystyrene, rolling ink on the tile, and then printing from it.  It gave my background a different quality to using paint or ink and it led to some further experiments.

Watercolour paints
Try something new

Explore the Medium Fully

For a long time, I disliked soft pastels because I tried them once while studying A-Level Art and it didn’t go well.  They seemed hard to control and all the work I created with them just seemed to look juvenile in my opinion, so I stopped using them.  These soft pastels stayed in my cupboard for years before I decided to have another go with them ten years on.

Use the side of the pastel to get texture

I started using them in backgrounds and on top of ink and paint to create textures. Suddenly I realised that I could use these pastels with other materials, or I could use them just to create a background and I understood much more about the medium than I did after my first experience the many years before.


Mixing Materials

You can mix materials and for me mixed media is the best of both worlds as well as creating more interesting looking work.  I don’t know where the I got the idea from but earlier in my art education, I didn’t think that you could or should mix materials but the realisation that you can opened a whole new world of experimentation and discovery.

Experimenting with new art materials
Playing with paint

Learn a New Technique

Learning new techniques retains my interest in drawing and painting, there are so many different approaches to drawing and painting that you can always be learning new ways of doing things.  Some sources of ideas for new techniques are other artist’s blogs, websites and YouTube tutorials as well as of course workshops and classes.  When I learn a new technique, I try to incorporate it into my work for example some printmaking techniques have enlivened my artwork.

Don’t be afraid to learn new techniques because you never know if it is one you will take to and could give your work a whole new look and feel.

Do you have any suggestions for how to kickstart an art habit or an art rut?  Share below.

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