Tips on Creating A Daily Painting
Hello friends! I would love to chat with you today about what changed my life and my art style. Sounds like something magical right? Actually it was basically creating the habit of painting something…anything everyday for at least 10 minutes. Sounds pretty simple huh? Well it actually is but it is something that we so often dismiss in our lives and I am here today to tell you how darn important it is as an artist and some practical tips that might help you get started.
My Background: Before I divulge into my daily painting process let me tell you a little about my background. I had been teaching high school art for over 10 years, had two young children and was feeling super frustrated with my lack of creating art. I was an art teacher and was unable to find time to actually create the art I loved. Something seemed very wrong with that picture. How was I supposed to inspire others if I could not even find time to inspire myself? I decided January 1st 2016 that I would do something for me, I would do a painting a day for 365 days. I bought myself a sketchbook and spent like an hour on the first sketch ever. It was over my Winter Break so I actually had time for it. Three years later and I am still doing it in 2019! I plan on never stopping!
Tip 1: Plan an Artist Date and DO NOT Break it!: In order to actually create a daily sketch I had to figure a time each day that I could do it especially when school started. That is when my lunch hour paintings began. Luckily for me I am an art teacher so painting in my classroom during my lunch break was not that complicated. I only get about 20 minutes each day for lunch so these paintings had to be quick. No matter what I make sure to keep my painting date with myself. Even if I give myself only 10 minutes I do not break it. Actually I broke it for a couple of days this past year. I got the flu and could not get out of bed for four days. That is one of the only acceptable excuses for breaking your artist date!
Tip 2: Start Small: One thing I recommend if you are painting daily and have a very short time to paint is to get a sketchbook that is 7 x 10 inches or smaller. I started with a 5 x 7 sketchbook but eventually loved using a little bit larger paper as I got speedier with my painting.
Tip 3: Paint What You Love or Want to Improve On: When I first started painting everyday I honestly painted the most random things ever. When you first start something the most important thing is to establish a consistent habit. Don’t worry about what you are painting, it might look horrible. Keep going! You have to get through the bad art to get to the good art. Trust me on this. After about two weeks of daily painting I noticed I loved painting landscapes of Lake Erie where my family has a cottage. Painting these scenes brought me so much happiness and peace. When you start to feel this way about the subject you are painting you know you are going in the right direction.
Tip 4: Small Habits= Big Results: When you start a daily painting habit just be patient. Major breakthroughs probably will not happen right away. It took me a solid 6 months before I saw any major breakthroughs in my art. Over time and consistent painting I did start to notice which colors I gravitated towards more, my brushstrokes became more my own particular style and my compositions got better. It took patience and a lot of sketches to finally break through and figure out what my style is. To be honest it still is evolving. You do not want to peak, you want to constantly evolve as an artist right? Painting everyday is one of the major ways to break through and find a lot about yourself and your own personal art style.
Tip 5: Don’t Wait for Inspiration: My favorite quote by Picasso is “Inspiration Exists but it must find you working.” I might have paraphrased that a bit but essentially what it means is that do not wait for inspiration to find you, go out and make inspiration come to you! Experiment with color mixing, mark making, mixed media, whatever it takes to get you engaged in the process.. The daily painting does not have to be perfect. Just show up everyday consistently, have some fun and the results will amaze it!
I hope these tips might motivate you to start painting daily. I would love to hear from you if you have started painting daily and what has been your successes and challenges.