It’s been a looongtime since I have thought about sharing my art on my travel blog. Last year I’ve participated in my first painting exhibition in Paris Area, and that kept me going. Made me want to learn more and create more. Today I decided this post will FINALLY be about my plastic art hobby and I will share with you three lessons that made me a better artist.
Disclaimer on my art skills
The truth is, I’m not an artist, I have never taken any classes, and never studied art with a professor until… last year. I have brainstormed ideas on the format of sharing art, such that the posts remained travel related, since my blog is all about travels. I didn’t quite figured it out, so I will try some formats every now and then. If you love pretty things and colours, please bear with me and give me feedback about what you would like to see on my future art-related posts.
This is my second year where I take plastic arts classes at the conservatory in my town. It’s not been long, but even I can see some improvements on every painting I’m finishing.
Three lessons that will help you become a better artist
1. Observation is the key in creating art
It is said that drawing and painting is 80% observation and 20% brush stroke. Since I stumbled across this percentage – of course no one can measure this! – I came to realize that this is the first, most important step, when we start creating art.
Since I am an engineer and always liked geometry classes in school, defining proportions and symmetry lines came easier for me.
As I said, I don’t find myself an artist, but my friends pointed out that they could’ve never drawn/painted like me. So, ok, maybe I am a little above average in terms of observation skills, but reproducing elements came difficult even for me in the beginning.
2. I learned by repetition
Another learning concept to progress in arts is to iterate an element until it becomes a natural mechanism for you. It’s through a lot of repetition that you will become a better artist.
For example, I like drawing eyes and it’s something I’m best at. But I became better because I have incorporated this element in almost every drawing I’d made.
3. Learning to surpass fears
I will admit that every time I want to draw/sketch something I stare at the blank page for dozens of minutes before actually drawing something or finally abandon the process. I feel frustrated by the panic that gets me when I want to try something new. Recently I found out it’s called “artist’s block” and everyone gets through it. I am afraid to mess the paper (even if it’s a draft and is meant for that), I am afraid to fail, to disappoint myself that my art is not good enough.
And I’m aware that my art is not good enough, and that I should practice the elements I’m not comfortable with. Thus I came up with an idea in order to surpass my fears.
I choose a theme, like a series of a concept, or variations of a subject (you will find out when the moment comes! Stay tuned!) and I try to make it happen during my art workshop, with help from my professor if needed.
Technical details about the lion painting
Today I focus on this painting I finished last week. It’s the first one in a series that I prepare for an exhibition in Paris Area. Did you figured out the theme?
This lion took around 4 hours in all to finish, and my model was a photos of a lion in exactly this position. The similarities will stop here, as I don’t try to do realistic paintings or drawings; we have cameras for that.
I started sketching it with light crayon strokes, then I applied a contour with pastels. After I smudged these contours, I began blocking some colours with acrylics. With constant feedback from my art professor I could add all the shadows and details I could not observe by myself. I mean, obviously I knew there was something missing, but couldn’t identify it. That’s when the professor would come and say a thing like “maybe its jaw is more like this”, “maybe if we take a step back we can have a more complete view”.
Assembling together these lessons, I continue improving my skills and becoming a better artist everyday I practice.
If you want a print of this painting, email me for details!
Please feel free to comment and provide feedback on the format of this post. Also, if you would like some technical tips, or get in touch, please let me a message below. Thanks!