Malaysian Chinese Arts
June 19, 2012
Know your brushes
June 21, 2012

Challenges in becoming a good painter

Being an artist takes time and effort. You should know by now that being an artist is not an in-born talent. So it is important that you know certain things if you are venturing into art whether as a hobby or for a career.
Talent is never in-born although some have faster learning abilities. You need not have to worry too much about how much talent you got? The fact is that there are some people who are ‘more talented’ which mean that they pick up certain skills faster. If you cannot draw a human figure realistically, that does not mean you cannot learn how to. The fact that your artist friend did that during the first try means that they are able to grasp the concept faster than you. What you need is lots of practice.

Perhaps the easier way to overcome this is to start with a mentality that you do actually have talent and that you only need to find it and then work on it. Stop giving the excuse that you are ‘not talented’ and get started already.

Perfecting your painting is not the objective. Paintings are very subjective and it could also be a reason to be lazy. But what you need to know is that paintings need not be perfect. In saying perfect, it means that it must look ‘beautiful’. The truth is, it is impossible to achieve a perfect painting and even the likes of the ‘Mona Lisa’ or those from the old great masters are not as perfect as you think. If the artists are still around, they will tell you that there are still a lot more to go. The trick is to know when to end and do it.

Drawings and paintings are different art-forms. They are related in many ways but this does not mean that if you do not know how to draw, you cannot paint. The truth is, you can paint using other methods. As a matter of fact, painting requires a different set of skills as that of drawing. So, even if you have spent years trying to improve your drawing skills but in vain, you can think about using another way to paint. Maybe printing or tracing first and then painting colour over them could be another option.

When painting, it is not true that the more colours you use, the better and nicer it will be. No doubt, it might be richer in many ways but that does not guarantee a sure-win painting. Mixing too many colours will saturate your painting. Avoid doing so and spend more time improving on toning and contrasting. Don’t go out and buy a thousand colours and then think that you will be creating an excellent painting.
Working on smaller canvases and large ones are the same. There really is no short-cut to this despite some beliefs that smaller surfaces are easier to work in. In fact, some small canvases are harder to paint as you have limited space while larger surfaces give you more space to work with.