ADVICE FOR ART NEWCOMERS & RETURNERS

Whilst i’m by no means an Art veteran, I thought I’d share a couple of tips to those of you who are new to the Art world and want to give it a go, or those looking to return to their past passion.

As some of you may know, during my time at University I withdrew from any form of painting due to the shift in lifestyle and my pursuit of other new interests.  It was then during my year long job hunt for full-time employment that I decided to pick up where I left off, partly to fill the countless hours of having “nothing to do.”

THOSE RETURNING

So first things first.  For those of you returning to whatever means of creativity after a long break away - more often than not, your first few creative attempts may suck.  Perhaps you’re one of the lucky ones who's skills did not deteriorate during your hiatus, but for me, that was not the case.  I found myself trying to create basic portraits of popular figures, but instead being left disappointed with wonky proportions and a lack of style.  Although this went on for a long time and I disregarded a lot of the work that I created, it wasn't all doom and gloom.  As with any hobby, it takes practice and like myself, you have to remain patient and persistent that your skills will develop if you give them the time required.  Remember why you started and believe in your ability.

NB: I thought it was also important to state that a lot of Artist that we admire online and in galleries only display finished pieces that they are comfortable and happy enough with to share with the outside world.  I can almost guarantee that they will all have a number of unfinished and/or abandoned pieces that never see the public light.  Like the saying goes, don’t compare your progress story to someone elses highlight reel.

NEWCOMERS - WHERE TO START

The possibilities are pretty much endless when it comes to creating Art, as the only limitation you have is your imagination itself.  There are a number of creative categories you could try but for the benefit of this blog post I'm going to focus on Painting.  I myself lean towards Acrylic paints as they suit the nature of my work, however you can also try watercolour or oil paints.  Now if these terms are completely new to you and you don’t know the difference, I would suggest having a look online or better yet, visiting Art galleries to discover the different effects possible with the different types of paints used.  

The left two paintings are created using acrylic paint, the two on the right using watercolour.

In terms of where to buy your art supplies, I tend to rotate between Hobbycraft and The Range, with the extra large canvas’ that I occasionally use coming from Amazon.  Prices of paints vary but on the whole are not cheap.  As a beginner, I would recommend that you perhaps buy a multipack such as: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Daler-Rowney-System-Acrylic-Introduction/dp/B000NM92KY/ref=sr_1_11?ie=UTF8&qid=1504453646&sr=8-11&keywords=acrylic+paint  which incidentally are my go to brand of Acrylic paints, along with Winsor and Newton.  This all of course depends on the scale that you intend to start out on, but a little can sometimes go a long way.  The same goes with paint brushes as they can individually become quite pricey, so again look out for any multipacks on offer.  In my experience you should be able to get a set of about 6 small varying paintbrushes for £6-10.  And finally canvas’ - my preferred brand of these are Winsor and Newton but the price reflects the quality.   In the beginning stages I used Reeves canvas’ which perform well and are perfectly suitable for beginners.

So you’re armed with your paint of choice, paintbrushes and canvas.  What next?  Well without trying to deter you, I would highly recommend taking a beginners Art course in order to help you learn about the basic principles colour, lighting, paint techniques and the human form.  That said, thanks to YouTube a lot of this information can be found online for free and I really would stress the importance of you understanding the basic rules and how to apply them.  Even if you are looking to create Art that is completely off the wall and Abstract, it will nonetheless make you an improved, well-rounded Artist and you can apply various tips and tricks that you may pick up along the way for your own advantage. 

I DON’T KNOW WHAT TO PAINT

The number of inspiration sources around us are endless and they have been summarised here in my earlier blog post (click the thumbnail below). 

 

HAVE FUN WITH IT

The main reason why I love to paint is the lack of restrictions.  Day to day adult life tends to dictate what we do, how we conduct ourselves and where we have to be at what time.  With Art, all of these rules disappear.  You can be as conservative or as controversial as you like, or merely create something that will soothe your soul.  You will see you work develop over the months and years and be able to see how various influences in time have changed the way in which you create.  Art can also bring strangers together and unite people through the highs and lows of our existence.  

From time to time there will be frustrations along the way, but so long as you're having fun and exploring different ideas and techniques - you'll soon build up a body of work that you are proud of!

Until next time.

Creative Curls x

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