Do you struggle to find a breakthrough in your painting skills? You know that feeling that there are painting secrets to unravel, but you cannot find them? It can be frustrating when you want to grow your skills, but there is something missing. And you need the answers now. Yup, I know that feeling well.
Recently I had the pleasure of being a guest on Alexis Fedor's Artists in Business podcast. In this episode I talk about how I went about looking for these answers.
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Like I said I had this strange idea that there are painting secrets that only a few had access to. This was the case a few centuries ago when master artists belonged to secret guilds. But a lot has changed since then. Especially at the start of the twentieth century when painting became a pastime for hobby painters. Now the internet has changed everything once again. Or has it?
Why Language of Painting?
Despite the wealth of information out there it is still difficult for beginners to progress beyond the basics. Volume of information is not the answer it seems. The real issue is sifting through all that knowledge and getting a grip on what is important.
Like a spoken language you need to know where to start learning or it will be a long struggle. If you try to learn English and do not get the basics of word order correct you will speak nonsense. Writing a book would be unthinkable. Yet so many artists want to paint stunning works without learning the language of painting.
What About Different Styles of Painting?
If you learn these fundamentals will this mean you cannot have your own style? Absolutely not. The beauty of learning a language is that each person can excel in whatever direction they like. You can speak, sing or write a language. Poems, sonnets, novels and so much more is possible with words. The same applies to painting. All you need is the language to set yourself free.
What does the Language of Painting Consist Of?
What this means to you as a painter is to learn how to observe. Then to interpret your observations into shapes, values, colours and edges to arrive at a painting. It does sound simple at first, but I know that this is a lifetime pursuit.
But do not worry. You can learn the important steps quickly enough. Beginners can make huge leaps in skill and confidence. But there are plateaus to endure before you make the next leap. The joy is knowing that you are refining your skills. The frustration of not knowing the secrets is finally over.
Teaching the Language
This journey into painting meant that I had to study masters both old and contemporary. The benefit of this is finding the overlaps. The common lessons, traits and practices that they all agree on. These overlaps form the language I have been speaking of. Each have their own styles, but each know the elements of colour, composition, values and much more.
I put together a course called Learn to Paint With Impact that teaches these fundamentals. It is not a simple course. It takes time and students have to practice to make progress. But it remains my most popular course because it reveals a path that will lead to results. It is the method that I have built on and so too have many others.
Find out more about the course here.
You can also listen to the podcast plus more about my learning path on Alexi's podcast episode.
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