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Beginning Artwork - Have Fun!

Updated on March 8, 2008

If you ask a group of kindergartners how many of them can draw and paint, all or nearly all of them will raise their hands. Ask a class of high school kids and maybe a few. Ask the same size group of adults and you'll be lucky to get one or two people at most. This is because so many of us were made to feel that we have to have some magical talent or gene in order to enjoy art. This is not true. Yes, there are people out there who have what is considered, "God Given Talent", but how many of those people never tapped it because they felt they were ‘unworthy' in some way. That is sad indeed. So many other factors should be figured in, such as a passion for art, dedication to improving skills, having fun, taking risks, experimenting with all sorts of media. If you've ever wanted to be an ‘artist' but were hesitant, I' want you to go out ASAP and buy a pad of good drawing paper, No2 pencils, kneaded eraser and a set of colored pencils, now!

Look around for something to draw. A vase, bowl, kitchen utensils, stuffed animal, flowers, fresh fruit (well, I guess if you are an Andy Warhol kind of person you could even use a can of fruit - nah). Arrange them in a pleasing still life.

When you have all of your supplies assembled, sit at a table in a comfortable chair, or I sometimes draw on a lap desk and sit in a comfy living-room chair.

Notice the shapes, shadows and placement of the objects. Sketch in the shapes first. If you're drawing a pear, draw it with a large and small circle, for a banana sketch a long rectangle, etc. and keep it free and easy. Stop scrunching up your fingers and shoulders. Take a deep breath, relax and hold the pencil loosely.

Play and have fun. When I first started being serious about my art, I felt that I had to ‘produce' something to justify the time and cost of the supplies. You'll never move forward with this attitude. To be an artist, even if it's just for fun and nobody but you ever sees your work, you have to explore and take risks in order to grow. It's like learning skate or ride a bike, if you're not willing to risk a skinned knee now and then, you'll never learn. Scribble with different colors to see how they look together. Take a couple of small objects like a square ring box, a bottle of aspirin, the inside of one of the finger holes of a pair of scissors, whatever, and trace around them, layer the shapes, use several of the same shapes together, or assign a color to each shape and try that. Give yourself permission to use the time and supplies to experiment and grow.

As you progress to maybe pastels or paint, you will start to notice that you like certain color combinations, themes and shapes better than others. This is when you truly start developing your own style. I have tried to do soft pastel colors but I always end up with bright ones. A friend of mine only likes to use the palest, most delicate watercolors you can imagine. They are beautiful, but as hard as I've tried, I can't seem to paint that way. Neither of use is better or worse, we just have our own way of painting and expressing ourselves. Only by continually exploring and playing with your colors and shapes will you find out what your true style is. You may turn out to be a great artist or just a hobbyist, it doesn't matter if you love what your doing. The only person you have to make happy with your art is you (well, unless you're still in school - but even then most art teachers will encourage you to grow - but they still might require that you do one perspective drawing.)

Take an art class. Many areas have continuing education classes in beginning drawing, painting, pottery. This will give you more confidence and some guidelines to let you know where you need more practice. With me it's always shading. You'll also meet like minded people and it will get you out of the house and focused on something for you. I get migraines from time to time and that's when I work on my art. The creative part of your brain takes over and sort of shuts down the pain side, so that's another to give art a try.


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