by Fiona Valentine
You are super busy, I get it. Want to learn how to paint MORE in the midst of all that busy and shorten your learning curve? I have a simple solution! Learn to Love Your Limits. It works equally well if you want to learn to draw. What do I mean? Read on friend and you’ll breathe a sigh of relief at the simplicity here.
How to Paint More By Loving Your Limits Tip 1
I suggest that rather than sigh and fuss over your limited time (or resources, capacity, available subject matter, money or WHATEVER) use it as a jumping off point for creativity.
Science tells us that FOCUS is the key to progress. To Focus, we need Limits. Most of us have plenty of limits, but perhaps we have only seen them as obstacles, not allies. Ready to put those limits to work and love what they can do for you? Here we go.
Grab a pen and paper and list your time limits. Work. Family. Exercise. Shopping. Dinner. All of it. How much time do you REALLY have to spend on art?
Remember, 20 minutes is enough to start! How many 20 minute sessions could you realistically schedule? Maybe it’s one. Maybe it’s 3.
Maybe you can manage 5! Perhaps you can manage 3 x 20 minute sessions and one longer session once every two weeks. Whatever it is, that’s what it is. Just write it down.
Now for Tip 2.
How to Paint More by Loving Your Limits Tip 2
List any other limits that feel like they affect your ability to make more art. Maybe it’s money, maybe it’s skill, maybe it’s space. Write them ALL down.
Once you have some things on your list, ask yourself some questions:
Given the limits I have, which medium makes the most sense for me right now?
Consider what you already have, already know and what feels like the easiest option. What would help you get an easy win?
How to Paint More by Loving Your Limits Tip 3
With your chosen medium in mind, what subject material is most available to you?
If you have NONE of these, what objects do you have in your house that you could put near a window and photograph for a still life? Would you enjoy making a still life from fruit or vegetables bought from your local market? Can you head to the op shop and find a funky vase?
Remember, it doesn’t have to be your ULTIMATE subject, it needs to be your AVAILABLE subject. It should also be a simple subject and whatever you already have some experience or skills painting.
How to Paint More by Loving Your Limits Tip 4
Now that you have a subject chosen, what would be the fastest, easiest surface and size you could paint or draw your subject?
Ampersand panels are a great choice because they are ready to paint on right away and are archival, available in small sizes, affordable and wonderful to work on. They respond best to synthetic brushes rather than hog bristles which tend to scratch through the paint on the smooth surface.
Works on paper could also be a great choice.
Some artists find painting small is quick and others find bigger brushes and bigger arm movements on larger paintings is easier and faster. Think about what size is likely to be easiest for you.
How to Paint More by Loving Your Limits Tip 5
Now that you have your time, medium, subject and size chosen, plan a series of paintings based on these choices. Find a theme to tie them together – colour, design, story. Gather the references you need for a series of 3 – 5 works.
With a plan in place, you can start to batch your purchases, preparation of your canvas or paper, photography, sketches, colour mixing and practice of any techniques you need.
How to Paint More by Loving Your Limits Tip 6
Lastly, set yourself a time limit for each painting. Try to be realistic based on what’s usual for you. Perhaps break it down into stages and make a list. Share with artist friends what you are working on and take lots of pictures of your process! These are great things to share on social media with friends & family! Everyone loves work in progress shots.
So, if you've been feeling like you have limited time or limited resources try loving your limits and letting them focus your attention for productive, joyful creativity.
I'd love to hear how you get on! Come and join me at The Confident Artist my free facebook group for aspiring artists for tips, encouragement and some like minded creatives.
Be sure and grab my free "Love Your Limits" worksheet here
Hi, I'm Fiona. I'm an artist and creative coach. I help aspiring artists build a creative habit and conquer the basics of painting so they can make beautiful art.
You have more than enough creativity and talent. You need knowledge, practice and a creative process that really works.
I'm here to help!