Is painting something you can learn to enjoy?

For many people, the idea of being an artist is a dream. Taking your image and creating something meaningful from the concept in your mind is an incredible skill. Those who can take our mind\’s image and translate it to paper in an artistically credible fashion are often revered. Whether it is for that reverence or simply to have a new hobby, many of us seek to become painters.

With such a brutal learning curve, though, most give up after a few basic watercolors. If you feel like you lack the necessary skills to paint, it is easy to give up. Once you start to critique your own work too openly, it can be hard to go back to appreciate it. How, then, do you know if painting is ‘for’ you?

Make critique relevant to your skill level

Think about a hobby you do regularly. Let us say, for example, that you play guitar. Well, think back to when you first had to learn the chords of a guitar. How often did you make a mistake? How regularly did you hit the wrong fret or go for the wrong combination? Too often, we bet.

It takes time. Painting is the same. You might find it easy to write yourself off as a non-painter after a few early paintings.

Remember, though, that the critique should be taken based on the skills you have today – not the skills you might have tomorrow. This makes it easier to accept your work for what it is.

Focus on minor improvements

Another way to focus on your skills as a painter is to look at where you are improving. Instead of looking at what you could have done better, focus on what has improved from your last painting to this current edition. You will start to notice that you do things like blend colors better or that your painting becomes more vivid and clear to your audience.

Stop looking for your mistakes and focus on what has improved. If you do not give yourself any credit, you will find it hard to keep painting. Why? Because you will feel like you are not good enough.

Learn painting one trick at a time

One of the most common reasons to give up painting is simple: you try and do too much. You want to learn all of the little efficiency tips and time savers, but you learn these through experience. They do not just magically come to you. You must focus on mastering one particular skill – and one particular skill only – before doing anything else.

Focus on learning one little trick at a time. For example, you might want to make the next few paintings about blending colors for a positive contrast instead of a negative clash. Focus on one little skill, work to improve that, and evaluate your work further.

Do you want to learn how to paint?

Of course, attending a class is the best way to know if painting is for you. Do you want to give painting a try? There are various hobbyist resources that you can use for some tips. You can find them online, in books you could rent from a library, and even from other painters.

If you want to learn how to paint, remember that it is a long-term process. Nobody starts painting masterpieces from day one; it requires time, patience, and failure. You have to get used to making mistakes or creating paintworks that do not turn out as you wanted. Only through that gradual process can you hope to enjoy painting and start creating artwork that you can feel justifiably proud of.

Photo by Yannis Papanastasopoulos on Unsplash

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