So you don't have a creative bone in your body?
Teddy's Lolly Train
You say you couldn't draw a stick figure...I say rubbish!
Many people approach me with flattering comments about my artwork and they often begin with comments like "I don't have a creative bone in my body" or "I couldn't draw a stick figure if my life depended on it."
My answer is always the same. RUBBISH!
Art, in all it's many forms, is a skill like any other...a learned one. Nobody is born with the ability to walk or talk or drive a car, why would painting be different? I believe that there are three fundamental keys to learning to paint. Not just painting but any skill.
Let's look at my favourite example, reading. At some stage in our lives, we were unable to read but look at us now. What changed?
Instruction - We learned to read from the instruction given by somebody older and wiser than ourselves. They gave us a cornerstone of knowledge, our alphabet of letters and then they guided us on our way. Sometimes commending us for overcoming an obstacle, sometimes pointing out our errors and helping us to correct ourselves.
Patience - Patience affords us the ability to continue. We cannot learn any skill without practice and we cannot practise without patience. But there's more to it than just that. Patience also allows us to forgive ourselves when we make mistakes - without patience we would surely be discouraged to the point of giving up.
Passion - Passion gives us endurance to continue practising when it all seems to hard and without practise our skills can't grow and develop. It also contributes to the ability to forgive ourselves for we know that something bigger than us is at stake.
(Have you noticed that these are the qualities we learn from our mothers?)
Three keys ingredients of successfully learning to read. Not all of us will become world renowned authors. Some of us read faster, learn quicker or retain the written information more readily than others but at the end of the day anyone can learn to read.
And so it is with learning to paint. With some direction from somebody more experienced, with patience and passion anyone can learn to paint.
Admittedly, these skills seem to come more naturally to some. Some people are more adept at capturing an accurate likeness, other can manipulate colours in a spectacular and sometimes mind boggling way but there is no reason that you can't learn to paint given a little time, practice and instruction.
In fact, I pose to you a question...
How many times did you burn the dinner before mastering your signature dish? How many lessons did you have before you were confident enough to take your driving test? Did you start swimming the moment you were thrown in the deep end of the pool?
Like I say, painting is a skill like any other...and skills must be learned.
Artist-For-Hire's Painting Bible's
Ready to start your journey?
- Learning to paint at home
Practical wisdom that you'll need to get yourself set up & making masterpieces in no time.
- Portraits - A Beginners Guide To Painting With Acrylics
Learn my secrets to painting a great portrait along with practical instruction and easy exercises aimed to make you aware of the largest pitfalls of portraiture and optimise your chances of success.
- Free Watercolor Painting Lessons: step-by-step watercolor painting tip and technique demos and learn
Author and artist Yong Chen shares his watercolor painting techniques and experience free to the public. His lessons in both step-by-step picture-text and video format.
- Caucasian Skin Tones - Recipes for Watercolour
Struggling to paint your first portrait? Find detailed instructions for making tones from the lightest highlight to the darkest shadow with this easy recipe for Caucasian skin tones.
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