Master The Art Of Painting With These 8 Tips

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Picture this: You pick up a paintbrush and dip it into a tray of paint. You start to create something you’ve never seen before — that’s painting with your fingertips — or you use said paintbrush to swipe over the canvas, mimicking the motions of an abstract artist like grinch plywood cutout pattern free. Or maybe you’re scrolling through your social media feed, admiring a painting on Instagram, and then decide you’re going to recreate it in real life.

No matter how you choose to create art by painting, there are some fundamental skills that will help get your work off the ground. Follow these 9 tips from artist Kari Lofthus for mastering the art of painting so that anyone can better appreciate what they see. Whether you’re trying to improve your painting skills or are just looking for new inspiration, these nine tips can get you started on a creative adventure.

1) Practice, practice, practice!

The most important thing for any artist is repetition. Without it your originality is lost and your creativity will be limited. Find time in your daily schedule to paint and take the time to experiment with different techniques and styles until you find something that works for you. Below is a list of the most widely used tools and techniques. Select one or more that interest you and practice them before moving on to the next tips.

Tip: If you’re not sure which technique to use, experiment with various media until you find a style and medium that work for you.  For example, try watercolor, acrylic and oil paint before settling on one medium more extensively. 

2) Don’t be afraid to mess up!

“Every day I learn something new from my students,” says Lofthus. “I’ve taught these techniques for years, but still discover something new every single day — it’s part of being an artist. The beauty of art is that you are constantly learning and still growing.  

Tip: Try to work with the mistakes you make. Once you’ve learned what works, continue to experiment with different tools and materials in order to practice your craft and keep it fresh. 

3) Work On Your Composition

For Lofthus, this means figuring out how everything fits together in a composition, then learning how to paint exactly what she sees before her eyes. “With each painting I am challenged to discover new ways of seeing things,” she says. “The more I learn the more I realize there is so much more to learn.” Here are some tips on creating compositions for painting.

Tip: Practice with different compositions, both indoors and outdoors, until you feel comfortable with the composition of your chosen medium.

4) Use Social Media For Inspiration

Most people take a picture of something they see in a book or magazine or look at it on Instagram and then want to paint it. Lofthus’ favorite sites for getting her art inspiration are Tumblr and Instagram. “Tumblr is an amazing resource. There is so much there to look at,” says Lofthus about the social network for artists. “Whatever your preferred medium is, you can find good artists who have the same style as you on Tumblr. It is a great resource for inspiration and learning.” 

Tip: Create a Tumblr or Instagram account and follow other artists in order to see what inspires them. You’ll also find plenty of inspiration by looking at the work of other artists in your chosen medium.

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5) Look At Nature For Inspiration

There is no better way to learn how to paint than looking at nature. What better place is there to start, then, than by heading outside? But don’t just look at nature, study it! Lofthus says this about observing it: “When you are out in nature take the time to observe what lives in your environment. It can be insects, birds or the patterns of nature that you see in rocks, trees or grass.”

Tip: Observe nature by following it around with your eyes and trying to capture what you see with your pencil.  

6) Get Inspired By A Book Or Film

Using media such as books or films for inspiration is a great way to get more imaginative with your own art. Reading books that take place in the past and imagining how people may have lived, what they might have worn — their way of life — will help you create much more vivid paintings. Even movies can provide great inspiration if they’re set in a certain time period. Watching a movie like Amadeus or Marie Antoinette can easily help you create a painting set in the 18th century.

Tip: Go out and buy a set of art books, take pictures of things you see around town and check out classic films that took place in an era that interests you.

7) Surround Yourself With Other Artists

This may sound obvious, but learning from others is one of the best ways to learn how to paint. Whenever possible grab lunch with other painters and ask them questions, go to art openings or gallery spaces and check out other artists’ work, even reach out to your favorite artists on social media. Lofthus says, “It’s important to surround yourself with other artists and try as many different mediums as possible. It makes you a more versatile artist.”

Tip: As much fun as it is to hang out with fellow artists on online forums, it’s best to get out in the real world and be around other artists who inspire you and can help guide you along your creative journey.

8) Practice Pencil Drawing

“I study what I see — what nature looks like,” says Lofthus, “and my goal is to try and paint in a way that reflects that same style.” This means learning how to draw shapes first before progressing on to the details of a painting.

Conclusion of the article:

Lofthus’ advice is to develop a solid technique before trying to create original art. In order to gain inspiration, artists should look at nature for inspiration and find other artists who inspire them. Also, practicing with pencil drawing will help you better understand the shapes that you see in nature and how to apply them to your own paintings. By developing a solid foundation of painting through repetition and finding your own style, an aspiring artist can then work on originality. She says studying books or films from the era you want to paint from will also help you create more authentic pieces.


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