Monday, February 9, 2009

How To Find Time to Paint

Pages from my sketchbook

My "No Rules" sketchbook

This little sketchbook is one way that I get my creativity out of my system. I often struggle to find time to paint.  Actually, I never "find time" to paint.  You have to make time to paint.  I am often looking for tips on how to make time, save time and not procrastinate.
Last week we went to my Grandma's house to help her organize her art studio and I found a great book on her shelves called The One-Hour Watercolorist by Patrick Seslar.  He has many useful tips and ideas that got me thinking about how I am using my painting time.  I know many of you out there would like to pick up a paintbrush, but can't seem to get started so here are some of my favorite tips from Mr. Seslar that may help you (and me too!)
1. Realize that you can accomplish something in as little as one hour.
2. Designate a work space.  It doesn't have to be anything fancy, the kitchen table, spare room or even the attic will work.
3. Start small.  Work on a small painting or drawing to start out.  This will build up your confidence and it can feel really good to complete a project!
4. Do some quick sketches... they don't need to be incredibly refined and they get you warmed up.
5. Limit your palette.  Try a one-color value study or a two or three color palette.  This will develop your knowledge of color and value and is a big time saver!
6. Keep an idea file. This is one I need to work on.  I have so many ideas and images to work from... the problem is that they are all over my studio as opposed to a "file." This can become a problem when I really want to start a painting but I just can't find the picture I need!
7. a tip from me... keep a sketchbook/journal where no rules apply!  Just get creative.  Doodle, paint, draw, write, stamp or collage whatever your heart desires!  I always go into it thinking, "ok, no one will see this, just have fun." Sometimes ideas for a more finished piece come out of this sketchbook, but it is also just an outlet for my creative energy. Above are some snapshots of my "no rules apply" sketchbook so you can see how I get to explore different styles, mediums and subject matter in one book! After I complete something I usually feel like I've accomplished something and don't really care anymore whether or not anyone sees it.  If you are struggling to start a painting or drawing because of a lack of confidence maybe you should try something only for yourself.  You'll probably be surprised and it will only make you a better artist!

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