5 Sure Ways To Hone Your Painting Craft

by Neadeen Masters on July 29, 2011

Are you a painter who wants to hone your skills? All painters want to do it, but sometimes achieving that goal can be easier said than done. The good news is that regardless of the stage your painting is at, or if your media is acrylic or oil or watercolor,  you can take some specific steps to develop your painting skills and reach certain goals. Here are some helpful tips to accomplish those missions:

1. Challenge yourself
We’ve heard 1,001 times that “Variety is the spice of life,” but how often do we make such adages real in our lives? Maybe you’re in a painting rut. If so, then it’s time to try something different and more challenging. It could involve the skill of the subject. It could involve a medium. It could involve doing a 180º turn by taking a completely different approach to your painting. The actual steps that you take aren’t as important as taking the right ones to challenge yourself. Even if you are just starting out learning to paint, the first time you challenge yourself  likely won’t be the last time you need to do it. Whenever you feel that you’re getting into a rut again, then it’s time to step up your game and challenge yourself to forge forward. This will help to keep your painting fresh and always developing. Remember…’the next painting is your best painting!’

Learn to paint Landscapes with Neadeen Masters

2. Practice perfectly
It goes without saying that the more you paint, the faster you’ll be able to develop your painting skills. Yes, you should practice more. But just as important as practicing more, is practicing well. Vince Lombardi referred to it as “perfect practice.” Focus on the details. Make an honest assessment of your painting, and determine which areas you want to improve. Then focus on those particular areas until you’re 100% satisfied with your progress. Due to the artistic nature of painting, it’s impossible to technically “perfect” your painting. That’s OK! It means that you’ll have a lifetime to practice and develop your painting.

Painting with acrylics - liner work by Susan Abdella

3. Get inspired
It’s definitely OK to ask, “What’s my inspiration?” when striving to develop your painting skills. In fact, you should! Take the time to visit a local art museum, gallery, or exhibit. Surf the Net to read about the techniques that your favourite artists use or used. A little inspiration can go a long way. You can then try to incorporate the techniques of different painters into your own repertoire. Maybe you just need to be inspired to help guide your painting development in the right direction. Study the works of other artists and try to learn from what they do.

Painting with acrylics - Art Apprentice Online Art School

4. Use better painting supplies
These can range from your medium to your paints, and from your brushes to your palette. Of course, it’s the actual use of those supplies that will help you to develop your painting skills. But you’d likely be pleasantly surprised by how drastically your painting can improve by making some basic upgrades of your supplies. Yes, a higher grade of supplies will also have a higher price tag. But they’re definitely a worthwhile investment if you’re serious about giving your painting skills a boost. If you paint with acrylic paints…research the current brand you use and see if there is one that is better suited to your type of techniques. Learn all you can about acrylic paints. Their properties, how they work and what makes them unique. Student grade paint is usually less expensive but artist’s grade paints are superior. This goes for all paint media, and most especially if you are painting with acrylics. Artist grade acrylic paints are well worth the investment.

5. Dream big but then take it one step at a time
There’s nothing wrong with dreaming big in terms of your painting-and you should! On the other hand, those dreams will be just that if you don’t take the right steps to reach them. Make a detailed plan about the steps needed to get to Point B. What will you do and how will you go about it? Will you take a few classes to upgrade your painting skills and increase your painting knowledge? If so what do you need to learn? Can’t afford to travel to classes, then online painting classes might be your solution. Choose from a vast selection of online art classes on the internet. Choose one that fits your needs and sink your brushes into it! There’s nothing more rewarding than taking on a challenge and reaping the rewards.


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