Art of any kind is a tricky thing. It works on inspiration and is often in the moment and of itself. Painting is about vision and putting what your mind, body, heart, and soul tells you onto the canvas. The problem is, you mind, body, heart and soul sometimes only tell you some of the story. Most artists know the feeling of their vision only taking them so far.
They start well but sooner or later is falls apart and ends up being nothing like your first imaged. Sometimes this happens simply because the inspiration is not there, but often a gap in your painting knowledge can bring your creation to a screeching halt. What you really need is some methods to improve your painting.
While nothing beats natural talent and a good eye, learning to paint with a teacher
can bring out the best of your talent and promote your skills. Its never a bad option to consider online lessons when learning how to paint. Its like adding more skills on top of those you may have through a self-taught or natural approach.
Whether youre going with a teacher or are the brooding lone wolf, the following tips could help you improve your painting skills and develop art that matches your vision:
Get to Know Your Tools and Materials
Studying art is an effective way to become better at it. By learning how to combine paints, knowing the materials you use, and how to interact with your tools, you are building your painting language. Your vocabulary on the canvas will be more expressive as a result because you will know what to apply in specific situations.
Try Something New
Many artists who are in a rut and struggling to complete work as often stifled by their own artistic framework. We like to put ourselves into boxes and be an X type of painter or an artist that paints Y. Variety is the spice of life and freshness can serve as the most potent of inspirations. Whether you try new paints, new materials, or go all out and try a fresh style, see where your experimentation takes you.
I can already see some of you readers recoiling in horror at the thought of planning your paintings. I get it, for some artists the expression is fluid and many paints what comes in the moment. However, if whats coming in the moment is getting your to only half a finished painting, it may be time to reassess. Plan your paintings to add some structure that helps you get to the end. You can deviate along the way, but plans provide goals and often results.
Take it Slow
If you sit down for long sessions but ultimately lose your inspiration, try splitting up your painting time. Paint for an hour and then leave it for the day. Working bit by bit gives you time in-between to flesh out your vision.
Study Your Subject Matter
Whether its nature, landscapes, portraits, or just about anything else, more knowledge can lead to more expression. If you plan to paint something study, it and become familiar with it enough that its harder to lose track of the vision.
Visualize the Process
Having a vision and visualizing your painting are two different things. The vision is what serves as your inspiration, it is what provides the synergy between your art and your hands. Visualization is seeing your concept and being able to see it at various steps in the process and how it will be complete. By visualizing your painting into steps, you can work towards those individual goals and adjust as your artistic expression informs the painting.
Recapture Your Muse
Standing on the shoulder of giants is ultimately what we do as artists. Fresh and unique a rare, so theres a good chance your painting style has been done before. If you are struggling, read books on your favorite artists, or better yet head to an art museum and get first-hand inspiration.
Know Your Limitations
You may have to accept that at the moment you are just not good enough to express your vision fully. Dont worry, while thats a hard pill to swallow it does not mean your passion for art and painting needs to stop. Taking lessons or simply practicing and studying can improve your skills. Armed with more knowledge and ability, you will be surprised how much better your work becomes.
Theres no getting away from it folks, practice makes perfect. You cannot expect to hardly ever paint and then produce something that is an accurate representation of your vision. Only the most naturally gifted can get away with that, and even they practice!
Finally, you may just need to relax. Perhaps you are putting too much pressure on yourself to complete work or to paint to a certain standard. Paint because you love it and use your time painting to enjoy yourself and destress. If your mind is free you are more likely to create something that matches your ideas.