I think one of the obstacles for those who are learning to draw or paint when they are adults is that they are overwhelmed with the vast number of objects they want to learn to create. We worry, we don’t have the time (perhaps we feel we are running out of time). This can create such an intense anxiety one is apt to quit out of sheer frustration over where to begin.
Children have an advantage over adults because they draw what they want when they want. They do not worry about “running out of time. They are not worried about getting on to the next thing before because that is what children do – they are learning a great number of new things every day. There’s always tomorrow.
Try to adopt that childlike attitude. Art doesn’t come to anyone overnight. Instead of trying everything at once – pick one thing you love. If you love the mountains – draw mountains. If it’s the city – draw cityscapes. Cars – then study that. That way – even if it gets tough or you are down about other matters, you can escape to your own artistic space with images that give you peace.
The next thing to do is find artistic styles you like. Don’t spend a lot of time with a style because you think it’s good, but doesn’t appeal to you. Choose ones that speak to you. Find some version of that style that you can imitate. Eventually you’ll find the one that’s your own.
By choosing subjects and styles that you want to imitate – you’ll begin to collect resources that you can use. But, there is one more thing to think about: There are many great art teachers and aids out there, but not any one method works for everyone. I know from homeschooling my six kids that everyone has a different learning style. Don’t stick with a method that doesn’t work for you – even if other people say it’s the best – if you aren’t getting anywhere with it. Try another method until you start to make progress. You are unique. Remember that.
I am finding that the Zen Doodle community (on Facebook and Youtube) are great places to start. They give a new artist freedom to draw without judgment. And this one needs in abundance when starting out. But, they are limited in other areas such as perspective and lighting. For now, I’m not too worried about those things, as I need the encouragement to practice what I have learned. My point is that the more you draw or paint, the more you understand that the teachers are talking about when they speak about fundamentals. At first it all seems like magic, but the more you do “art” the more you see “art”. It’s a strange process of training your hands, your eyes, and your brain.
For me, I love the ocean. I have no idea why, but I do. So, for now, that is what I am focusing on: real and imaginary ocean scenes.
The above painting (Tidal Wave) was done using the software program: Artrage. I wish I had a studio working with real brushes and real paints, but for now this will have to do. This was done in Artrage 4. Recently, I bought their upgrade to Version 5. I’m a little nervous about learning new tools. But I also can’t wait to try it out.
I used the filler tool (blend mode – sky preset), the roller tool, the spray tool, and the square oil brush. I found a picture that I liked on the internet and used it as a guide. There is an option to import images onto your working space. Don’t be afraid to use other pictures as guides for your own work.
I’m sure I couldn’t reproduce all the steps that I did to create this image, but I did enjoy doing it. I know I’m a long way from being “good”, but at the moment I’m just happy to be able produce art that makes me happy.
For more on posts on Art for Non Artists (AFNA), go HERE.