How to become a better Artist!

Is the creative path calling you or want to improve your skills? Then you're at the right place!

If you believe that becoming an artist is just the pure luck of being born with those skills, then your're totally wrong. I am saying that because I strongly believe everything could be achieved with lot of work and perseverance.

The truth is everyone is an artist!

Trust me, if that's what makes you happy and if you're really pasionate about it, then it's like eating chocolate for the first time. Feel the taste and get crazy about it!

These are my truthful adivce to encourage you to do whatever you like, anytime.

First, I am going to story you my own journey I've become a little artist and then I will share with you some tricks, tips and mistakes you should avoid as a beginner.

My story started when I was a little girl watching my mother drawing. She used to draw some characters or some cute dollies for me; since then, she stopped and I still don't know why cuz' she got that talent, man.

I remember I was trying to recreate what she was learning me... but something was missing and I couldn't figure it out what in the world was. The doll I was trying to replicate had two eyes, a nose and a mouth, all her limbs, fingers, chest and even the belly button! But something was definitely still missing! I knew it.

One night I was dreaming I was alone and struggling to draw something for mom to surprise her, because I knew she had noticed something wasn't quite correct on the sketch. After I started drawing the head, I continued with the line of the body: neck, shoulders, arms... until the last toe and right after I took a short wide look to see the result. And voila, the doll was complete!

The next morning I knew exactly what I've been missing for so long... HER NECK! Since then I started filling my sister's notebooks with sketches, dollies or everything I knew was worth the try. I had a serious fight on that, don't worry.

Until 8th grade I've had all my notebooks half filled with my drawings. It was just a pure joy which helped me taking my mind off the real world. It was my own world and I loved it.

Then I stopped.

After so many years, when started the college, I used to draw my dorm room walls and I was proud everything turned out so cute!

Then, I got a job and responsabilities have started popping up, hence I needed my mind out of it.

I wanted so much to get back to my old hobbies, but now I was ready to evolve and create art at another level. I started going to the park and watching youtube videos, learning about facial features, eyes, mouth, nose and shadows and reproduce them.

In my short journey I made lots of mistakes, so let me share my tips for the beginners ones:

1. Choose your own style

This is the crucial step you don't want to skip!

Choosing your own style will help you easily develop your skills in that area, faster and natural. It's about the idea of having in mind an organized plan and focus on it. You can imagine that all your attention and incentive only revolves around your single goal. Which is so damn accurate!

I first started with some simple sketches, but I only wanted to learn the basics for something bigger, some huge portraits on canvas. This desire has grown inside me since I've seen a remarkable portrait at one of the nearest art collection in town.

I literally stopped in front of it and started staring while asking myself if I could do such a great art... then I went for some canvas, acrylic and brushes and voila, my first piece of art:

Since then, I've been drawing colorful pieces (like the one above) with acrylic on canvas, and I am pretty happy with my own style. But, for sure, there's room for some improvement.

2. Learn the basick by yourself

As I have already mentioned, my skills have improved by exercising a lot. I have watched lots of tutorials on youtube, recreating and picking some great techniques.

This is the key!

I've been starting with some basics on how to draw a nose, some lips or an eye. Shadows and colors, all these being engineered in my old sketchbook or on a random paper I found on my chaotic desk.

At some point I started sketching even on my iPad:

3. Make time for improving your skills

The more you practice the better you get!

Make sure you save some time (1-2h/day) for practicing. This will help you gain the desired skills way faster, hence the things you were afraid of will become the things you love the most.

Don't forget, practice is the key!

4. Tools

Next, we will need some tools to start creating some damn out of the movie art!

  • Easel

This one is just optional as you could hang your canvas on your wall, or even shifting on the wall and start painting without any care in the world like a maverick artist!

I bought an easel because my back hurt me when sitting all over the floor and for the sake vibe of an artist. Looks way professional!

  • Canvas

Well, this is not optional but mandatory as you will create some art on canvas, right? You have the choice to buy them assembled or not to create your own size and unique form.

  • Brushes

Understanding the types of brushes and the way they are used is essential as a beginner.

When I first started painting with acrylic I bought some random brushes and all I cared about was to only see the result. Later on I found there are some unwritten rules for them, but honestly, you're an artist and you could use your brushes the way you like and for different techniques. Art is about fun and creativity, hence there is no art police.

But in the end is good to have a brief overview on the brushes I needed and :

1. Flat brush is one of my go-to brush as I used it so often. Even if I am talking the biggest one (wash brush) or the tiny one, these brushes are so useful so I can paint whatever I like. The wash brush help me cover a bigger surface of canvas in a faster way

2. Angled brush is the one which will help you handle the curves, different shapes and lines with various thicknes. Pretty nice, huh?

3. Round brushes are the brushes I use for the smalles details as you can have maximum control on the flow with the narrow peak. The liner brush is the smallest one you can use to retouche anything with, for thin lines. You can write our letters, numbers and even creating realistic lashes.

4. Palette knives are so useful to create different textures, spread the paint all over the canvas, and especially in creating abstract art.

5. Sponge for some good techniques. I use them to spread the painting in a different way; last time I use them to create some clouds. Pretty cool!

  • Acrylic colors

Right from the beginning I started with acrylic colors as I knew they will dry faster. This is not the best feature nor the worst as I am currently painting custom portraits and I am exposed to make so many mistakes and I need to fast fix it. Otherwise I need to apply another layer or to start from the start.

Note: a better option when painting portraits are oil painitngs.

Let's say I've chose the hard part, so for my pieces I am actually using AMSTERDAM acrylics.

For some fluidity I use Acrylic medium which helping me a lot when trying the pouring strategy.

  • Chalk/Pencil

Even if you're going to paint a portrait, a landscape, or something abstract, you will need a chalk or a pencil just to create the desired shape of your future piece of art. Therefore, you will rather need a rubber and a ruler.

  • A jar to keep water in or even your brushes collected.

5. Choose a place in your house

The last toping I want to touch relates to your own corner.

I first started painting in my kitchen and after I have almost destroyed it, I creating my own corner (my little world) in my tiny apartment and dreaming about having my own room, decorated the way I like, with many book, bricks walls, a pickup in the corner, plants and a lot of light.

Until then, I could manage to create art into my tiny corner I've decorated to protect the floor and walls.

With all these being said, hope you've enjoyed this article and see you in the next one!

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