Do you find that FUD is affecting your creativity? If you're not sure what FUD is and how this is impacting you, stick around, I'm going to explain it all in a moment. Yes, this video is still about painting, and I'm going to be showing you a demonstration soon, but if you're not sure what FUD means, it's something that is used a lot in the investing world at the moment. A lot of artists are struggling with this condition in their creative lives. In this article I'm going to explain how you can get your creativity back on track. Then we are going to paint!
How to Kick the FUD!
What does FUD mean? It stands simply for fear, uncertainty and doubt. The world right now is filled with that. And, of course with mainstream media, its currency is fear, uncertainty and doubt. So my advice is stay away from that and focus on what's important, your creativity. And there are a couple of things that artists are specifically grappling with. The one is, of course, time. And I had such a great response to my video last week where I was talking about doing a painting sprint.
Need More Time? Done
Give yourself 30 minutes and complete your painting. And I've had artists sending me pictures of their work and how amazed they are with that process. So we've managed to find some time.
Materials Too Expensive?
One of the other things that is getting in the way, and a lot of artists are communicating this to me, is economics. Things cost more money, inflation, all of those things. And what suffers is getting art supplies or not getting a book or the DVD or learning or taking something that might cost a bit of money.
There's an old expression I learnt years ago, and that is about nickel and diming yourself into poverty. And I think a lot of that applies to spirituality and creativity. If artists are being kept isolated from creating through fear, uncertainty and doubt and using perhaps the tightening economy as a reason to stay away from creativity, then that isn't really saving. That's, as I said, nickel and diming you into a creative poverty.
Enough of the preaching.
How does this apply to practical things?
It struck me just this last week when I was working with a small piece of card and doing a painting on it. And I thought I've always had the approach of: use what I have and don't let things go to waste. And I don't regard that as skimping or as a poverty mindset, but rather a more of a one of appreciating what you have and making the most of it. So do something with what you have. And in this demonstration that I'm going to show you, I just worked with a cut off piece of card like this.
Sometimes I have bits of canvas. I will glue that onto some MDF and do little studies on those as well. Just part of training, but why throw it away? And the same goes for pieces of paper like this. This is watercolour paper that's an off-cut. Just put some gesso on it or some acrylic that you've got just to seal it and then you can paint on it. And it's great for doing little studies and training yourself.
I believe that if you spend 80 percent of your time teaching yourself how to paint, the 20 percent leftover will be used to create amazing paintings. So never stop doing something each day to take your creativity and skills forward. No matter what people are saying out there. What counts is what you are saying to yourself up here and what you do. So that's the lesson over as far as the chat is concerned. Let's get into showing you a little painting I did on a piece of scrap paper. (see the demo in the video above)
I believe that if you spend 80 percent of your time teaching yourself how to paint, the 20 percent leftover will be used to create amazing paintings.
This is the reference with a nice light filled road up ahead.
I primed with gesso and toned the paper with some acrylic burnt sienna. I started a mix of burnt sienna and ultramarine blue to paint the big dark shapes. Following a typical oil painting process, nothing outrageous, just having fun. Using a number six bristle brush to start this process off. I basically work from the big dark shapes into some middle values and then the light colours and then just follow those steps and refining where necessary.
Big Subject, Small Canvas
With such a small format the big idea is to simply follow the light. Show a light filled painting at the end. And that's what makes me happy. It's amazing how much you can fill up in a small format like this. That you can really capture such a big scene with so much within a small canvas.
All of those beautiful shadows in the foreground are going to make the lights stand out even more. When you're working with thick paint it's one of the real joys of a loose and impressionist approach to painting. But you've got to know how to lift the brush up once you put the paint on.
Loose But Not Sloppy
It's a disciplined approach. But still with the loose results, so kind of a conflicting sort of idea there. You can paint loose, but you still have to be disciplined in your brushwork. And disciplined in your colour mixing. When you have to simplify a scene like this into a small area while still using large brush strokes, you have to paint the idea. So you're going to have to leave out some things and you're going to have to forget about some details. So all you've got to do is figure out the big idea and try and capture that with an economy of brush stroke and not get dragged into the little details.
Abstraction of Details
I'll finish the painting with a smaller number 4 brush. It's not absolutely necessary, but that's about as small as I'll go, except perhaps to sign my name. But it still gives a large enough shape to kind of give an abstraction to details rather than dragging me into too many little details and fiddling about. Another nice thing about quick little studies like this is they help to actually build your confidence as a painter.
It's not that you have to spend days or even weeks on a painting and perhaps having to abandon it because of other life commitments. This is something you can do in an hour at a fairly leisurely pace and enjoy it and have a result that makes you feel good. You've achieved something. You've got time left over for other things. It's just a fun way to spend a good quality amount of time, time with yourself to explore your painting and your creativity.
And you emerge a much more relaxed and happier person I think. So just a few final details, things like telephone poles. I always try to put them in. Some sort of regular vertical shape helps to add a bit of contrast to all the organic shapes. And just a couple of final little accents, little highlights and little dark accents. And then that's it. That's done now leave it, walk away and the paintings over.
Time to move on to the next one.
More from the Podcast:
Ready to Explore Your Painting?