Monday, March 21, 2016

How-To Get Good Fast

Beginning students often ask, "What is the one thing that I can do that will help me become a better painter?" At the risk of sounding like a wisecrack answer, I reply, "Paint!" Most beginning students rely on one class a week to advance their drawing or painting skills. That's simply not enough practice time.

Painting frequently is so important for artistic development. Someone coined it "brush mileage" but the idea is that by regularly painting (if not daily) will put your skills on the fast track. Regardless of your skill level, do the very best you can do every time you paint. What you choose as a subject isn't as important as putting the time to practice.

Above is a small sampling of my class demonstrations performed over the past few weeks. I give a 20-30 minute demo at the beginning of every class. These demos consist of a general topic for the day to get students in the mindset of painting. If requested, I may do smaller demos specific to what each student is working on during that class. It's not uncommon for me to paint 6-10 demos per week. You can see how mileage can add up quickly. These "speed painting" exercises are what I suggest and encourage my students to do.

Of course, not everyone's schedule will allow that kind of volume. However, dedicating any additional practice time outside of class will only benefit you.

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