Artist tips

Tip from Mom to Mom: If you struggle with finding time to work on your our artwork because you have little ones, make the best of the time. Put the little one in the high-chair and let them finger paint with pudding! Keeps them quite for a spell, great pictures, tires them out and allows you a half hour to work on your painting! Bath time usually follows…..fun stuff!

TIP 1: One of the most important facts I have learned is give yourself enough paper or space to work in. Do not limit your space by using a small size piece of paper or tablet. This will make you very frustrated using too small of a piece of paper.  For example; say you are drawing a person and were not intending on adding a chair or window in the background. The portrait has actually come out much better then you expected and at that point in time you decide you want to add a background of sorts; but you discover you can not because there is not enough space because the paper is too small.  Example two;  just simply running out of room on the size paper you started already and do not have enough space to fit the entire subject in the space you have left. Do not try to fit the subject in by drawing it smaller than it actually should be! Draw it off the page, this way it is in proper perspective.

The best way is to use artist tape and set borders on your paper or surface you are using. Give yourself a few inches all the way around because this will give you the grace to move the tape if you do need more space to add to your drawing/artwork. The extra room to change the composition later. If you do not have artist tape [ a ph acid free] then use a masking tape, but first “Lint it up” on a sweat shirt or jeans. This way the tape will not pull up the paper when you remove it.

If you are drawing in life drawing buy the largest newsprint tablet you can find. Drawing or sketching on a tablet too small will inhibit you from sketching freely and expressively.  Do not sketch the figure to fit in a small space, if you run out of space draw the perspective correctly. In life drawing you want to learn proper perspectives and foreshortening in the figure.

Tip two:  Do not be afraid to mix mediums when working in one such as watercolor. Mix color pencil or pastels over the watercolor once dried. Milo the cat started out in watercolor, but I ended up using color pencil over the watercolor. If you looked at Milo’s progression and read what I wrote before the pictures I was given were out of focus which made it very hard to see details. So when working from a photograph make sure it is in focus and a well lite composition.

TIP three: Find an artist that is accomplished in realism artwork and study with them! Go to my contact page in the menu bar and contact me. I can teach you to take your artwork into photo realism. You may just need a few lessons…..

TIP four: If you are an artist on any level do not be afraid to pick up the brushes, graphite pencils or pastels, whatever it was you once worked in. Do yourself a favor and enjoy creating your art once again. If anyone understands about putting your artwork on the back burner it is me. Between having three children, a husband, house, pets, my health issues and being super Mom my artwork sat on the back burner for years.  As my children are growing up and don’t need me as young children need constant attention I am “Taking Back” some precious time! I did not realize at the time how much I was neglecting the core of myself as an artist. If you are in the same boat, do yourself a favor and just start drawing or whatever your artwork was,  just take some time for yourself once again…..you deserve it!

TIP five: If you have not been creating in your artwork  for a while, do yourself a favor and start again. It will energize you, and you’ll make your soul happy! I really suggest taking a life drawing class and if that is not an option then draw people in your family. Start with three minute sketches, then 5 minute poses. Most family members aren’t too happy about sitting; I warn you now. If you have children, most play on-line games and are sitting in one position long enough for a quick sketch. You never know your art just may spark other family members to participate. If drawing family members are not an option then if you can sit outside at lunch time draw strangers in the distance or maybe even a co-worker.

There are a lot of craft stores around now and they have classes you can take that sometimes are even free. It may not be Fine art you are interested in, so pick up your scrapbooking or craft again. It is a way to meet new creative inspiring people as well!

TIP six: This isn’t an art direction tip so to speak; don’t ever give up on your artwork or yourself! I know how hard it can be to just go “back into” where you left off and have the confidence in yourself to do so. Most colleges [your college] will give permission to come back and use the studios!!!

TIP seven: Artist palettes can be expensive; a cheap version is to use a devil egg tray. They do come in porcelain and plastic. Mostly the plastic ones have a lid cover which works well for acrylics, oil paint. Watercolor doesn’t need covering, when it dries to the next time you use just add a bit of water to reuse. Now, you can find the plastic devil egg trays in dollar stores or Dollar General stores for $2. If the clear plastic doesn’t work for you simply spray paint the underside with white spray paint. Really does work very well. I find the porcelain egg tray is Fabulous for a watercolor palette, this is what I have been using and it works great.

Tip seven:

Composition is key. Taking 100 pictures of the same subject forces you to not only look at the subject differently; it forces you to see the composition outside your comfort zone.  Presses you to challenge your skills and the norm of the subject you are photographing. In so you will learn to see and recognize good compositions in the future. You want to provoke emotion in your art. The person viewing your art will stand in front of it much longer if you tell a story in the artwork itself. A subject matter that means something to them the viewer; a fond memory of growing up for example. You need to set the scene in your art and why would someone look at your work?  A strong title is important also. I struggle with composition myself from time to time. You want movement in your composition meaning lines, shapes and forms that have your eye going throughout the artwork.  A light source to establish the time of day and what feeling or experience do you want the viewer to take from your art? There is a lot to think about when it comes to composition. Just the look on someone’s face in your work can tell a story.

87 thoughts on “Artist tips

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