Starting out: No idea what to paint: look at favourite photographs or images of holidays you have had, give yourself an allotted time, say ten minutes of looking, then decide on one to paint.
Got lots of ideas but don’t know where to start? write them down on a spider chart and break each idea down into bite size achievable pieces. The next step or project will become obvious and so your focus will return.
Get the proportions of the drawing right first, there is nothing worse than trying to rectify that when painting. Turn it upside down and see if it looks right before painting.
Set your easel up to receive maximum daylight where possible alternatively, you can buy daylight bulbs.
Plein air- painting outside: take provisions for you, as in food and water as well as an assembled outdoor small kit of water; paints brushes and an easel if you have one. Plein air painting is a good discipline to participate in because it speeds up your drawing, and makes you think about blending colours to find just the right tone rather than having a multitude of colours at hand at your work place. Also if other people are around watching, it makes you more brave every time you do it, even if you don’t feel that way! You could build up to painting by just sketching outside first. Or painting in your garden or a friend’s outdoor space, for practise.
Just starting out and fearful of wasting canvas or paint? Paint as if you were rich, that is the only way you will discover what makes you tick creatively. Check out boot fairs or online market places for people who are giving away or selling untouched paint sets to keep you going. Even if you don’t like the end result, you haven’t wasted your time or products, you have learnt.
Keeping healthy, hydrated and motivated:
Painting is almost meditative when you are engrossed, so always have a bottle of water handy to keep hydrated as you may forget to eat or drink!
If you spend long periods of time in your painting space, try to work off of an easel so you have to stand, it’s easy to realise you haven’t really moved much in hours! If you must sit still work from an Easel if possible its so much better for your posture.
Wear a Fitbit or set a timer on your phone to remind you to move periodically: maybe do star jumps, go for a walk make a cuppa. Not only is this good for movement but it makes you stand back from the easel to assess your work from afar.
Set up your easel so that you don’t stoop to paint, it’s easy to attend to detail, then when you go to stand up realise your neck is set!
Are you getting creative? I would love to see some of your creations, paintings or projects. Any questions, don’t hesitate to ask.