The skills behind learning how to paint can be simple yet beautifully complex when delving into the mastery of creating art. You may find yourself overthinking the entire process or only allowing one artist to influence your work. Instead, you should look to real life and other artists for examples to discover the true realm of painting.
Art can be defined as the interpretation of life. It can be abstract or completely precise, but regardless, it is a reflection of your personal view of life. How you interpret and see things. That is the beauty of art, it is subjective to you and what you see. This is what makes all art unique.
You must remember to start slow and take your time when delving into painting. Let yourself truly begin to understand the different forms of art which intrigue you and take time to interpret them. Look at multiple artists’ styles and forms of media, seeing what draws your attention the most.
The simplest things can render the most complex results, and still be very meaningful to you. Sometimes a simple concept can become a beautiful work of art, depending on the eye that is paying attention to it. You may think painting a bowl of fruit is too boring, per se, but the trick is to make it come to life. If you can do this, you have become a successful artist. Nothing is too boring for the eye of a true artist.
Keywords to Remember When Learning to Paint
Perspective, tone and proportion are all important basics to cover when learning how to paint. Understanding these skills are vital to create a painting that will actually spring to life. You will see that these three things will aid you in creating a true depiction of what you see with your own artistic eye.
Perspective is the key to creating the concept of space and depth within a flat surface, or the painting you are working on. The image above shows the perspective of one’s view of a train station. While it appeared this way to the photographer, it may appear completely different to someone else, depending on what they see.
The tone is interpreting how dark or light something is and creating the correct shadows or highlights to accentuate these details within your art. (3) Queen’s Gambit Speedpainting & How I learned to paint – YouTube)
Proportion is the relationship between the sizes of different subjects when painting to make them seem realistic. Depending on the type of art you are creating, the proportion can make your style more real or abstract. (Proportion – A Principle of Art (thevirtualinstructor.com)
Accelerate Your Learning and Expand Your Painting Studies
To further educate yourself when understanding the mastery of painting, it is important to expand the list of artists you research and find what interests you. You cannot limit yourself to viewing only one artist’s work because then you will only see one take on painting.
You can explore a whole range of artists and look for patterns, skills and styles that appeal to your eye. Understanding these artists, their work and why they may have chosen to use a certain style or skill is vital to further your art education.
When looking at multiple artists, you may see a common pattern within their work. Maybe they have the same style, technique or a common theme within their art. This is all important to note.
At first, you may be unsure of what the artist was thinking. You may look at a painting and be completely confused about what the purpose or interpretation should be. But, as you study their work more and look at the different paintings they have created, interpreting the meaning behind a piece may become simpler over time.
While studying the art and making the attempt to understand it, you will find strength in picking up the meaning behind it. You will engage in a better understanding of the unique skills that were put to use to create the painting you are viewing. This gives you options when creating art and allows you to find what you are best at when learning.
Common Mistakes to Avoid when Learning How to Paint
The most common mistake made when understanding painting is the unconscious need to focus on “copying” an artist’s work, believing that this will aid you in your journey. In retrospect, copying can help someone understand things like tone or perspective, but it eliminates the ability to paint from imagination and what your own eye sees.
As an artist, the concept of painting from one’s mind is important and painting what your eye sees is crucial when mastering your painting skills. When understanding painting, it is important to note that there are different “gears” of thinking.
There is the copying, visualizing, a “quick mode” and a mode where you pay more attention to detail and more time is put into the piece. When you avoid the mistake of simply copying art, you allow your mind to switch between gears and understand the shift that needs to be made to create the concept in which you are going for.
Another mistake that is often made when studying painting is learning from a teacher that will have no benefit to your education in the long run. You must be cautious who you are learning from and make sure that they are aiding you in your studies. Look for online art courses that give you the chance to learn from a wide variety of instructors with varying perspectives.
Sometimes the teacher you are learning from isn’t actually teaching you anything at all, especially if it is something you are not interested in. If the project isn’t something that sparks your attention, then it may not be something you should be studying.
In the case that you are following an inexperienced artist, this can create an artistic “block” within your thinking and completely disrupt your creative flow.
Making sure that your art teacher is the right fit for you is crucial. You need to find a teacher who will guide you in the right direction and expand your horizons within your painting. It is important to remember you are trying to further educate yourself, and nothing should hold you back from creating art that you love and enjoy working on.
Look to Life for Painting Inspiration
One of the most important tools for creating art that intrigues your audience is to look to life for inspiration. Don’t just allow yourself to view photos or images because they are, in a sense, a false reality. A photo has automatically adjusted its exposure or tone, to create the perfect image, for our viewing pleasure.
But, as an artist, you must create this “perfect” image according to your own eye. That is what makes your art unique. When looking at something from life, with your artistic eye, you decide the type of exposure, tone or perspective you want to include in your painting.
Your eyes adjust to light and dark areas and you decide how you want the painting to be viewed by others. You make the decision where to darken or highlight an area to create what you see or want to be shown within your art.
By making the choice of where to include areas of light and darkness, you are bettering yourself as a painter. You are using your eye to perceive something from life and you are reflecting what you see into your painting.
This may be a slow process and you may have a difficult time getting the hang of things in the beginning. This is completely normal. No one is going to become a perfect artist overnight. Good art takes time. There are no instructions when painting from life. It is all subjective to your eye. That is the beauty of it all.
Art is meant to be a unique but beautiful thing. The differences between artists is what makes them stand out. Whether it is realism or an abstract piece, life is the fuel for it all. It is what we see, in our own perspective and how we use paint to show others what is going on behind our eyes and in the depths of our mind.
By using different skills, techniques and studying the art that intrigues you; you will find that you can perfect your painting and master the art of it all. It is important to delve into your studies and find what best fits you as an artist.
Remember that doing things differently can always assist you in getting better. No piece of art is alike, which is why it is such a beautiful thing to create. Your imagination is key to creating what you see. Use your artist’s eye to reflect what is in your mind and show that unique view you have on things through your painting.