Art instruction: how to choose what to paint

art classes: barn watercolor

Art instruction and art classes will definitely help because the subject is everything!!!

Why it is so difficult to choose what to paint? Why cannot we decide on it?

That sometimes takes, hours, days and weeks, even months. I know how some potential artists would procrastinate for long time just because they cannot stop at something in particular and make a decision.

How so?

Stopping at some subject is crucial to get started at all.

When we go through images or sort our memory and imagination we find the potential subjects too difficult, too complex or too simple. There is nothing to paint. Nice colors, but bad view, no foreground or no background, boring or too detailed: these and similar thoughts might rush through your head.

One of the worst ways to help you choosing what to draw or paint today is just to check out what others do or have done today.

That’s it. There goes your day and there go the best hours for painting.

Internet images will suck you in; you will end up watching lots of YouTube videos which you neither wanted to watch, nor needed. You will look at endless Google images. That is a big distraction which we call inspiration. I will just get some inspiration on this subject, you say and nothing gets done.

Whether that is a photo or a set-up of real items, just get started. Just do it: the first line, the first brush stroke. Who cares?

You can change colors.

You can add or remove the background.

You can disregard details or add them to your pleasing.

Anything which is related to your computer or phone is here to distract you.

No wonder we wake up 4 hours later and we have not done one single line of a sketch, drawing or under-painting.

I sometimes think people are way better off going to a class because that will remove all troubles.

There will be a prepared image, subject or concept and you just go with it.

That image will suit well your intentions.

Assuming, you are alone and you do not have intention attending classes at the moment.

Get a picture, good, perfect or not that great: it does not really matter. The only thing that matters is to get started.

Once we are over the starting point, that’s it.

Just take the pencil or pen and start drawing. Take the brush and start brushing.

The first step is what matters. After that point you will be fine because the inner “you” will not allow taking a break until you are done.

For inspiration, please, see the progress of recent barn and spring watercolor.

 

We start with sketch, then do very light line drawing, apply first washes, add more or less color, define more and that’s pretty much it. Total time: about 5 hours.

I did not like how the first version looked pale (not in photo, but in reality) the next morning, so added stronger background and more layers to buildings and front.

art classes: barn watercolor

That’s how it looks, watercolor on Saunders-Waterford paper, 22 x 16 inches, or 56 x 41 cm.

To get started easier, please, sign up for painting and drawing classes:

https://inesepogagallery.com/classes-workshops-schedule/

To see what art can do for your mental health and brain fitness, please read my article on my other blog: Keeping memories alive

Good luck!

 

Art instruction: meaningful and useful tools for your creative freedom

art instruction

Art instruction is a way to find out how one is able to make creativity, drawing, sketching and painting part of their lives and self-care.

I received recently a lot of positive comments about my art classes. Parents admitted that the art instruction which is available in our region (Ontario, Whitby, Oshawa, Ajax) does not actually include learning how to draw or paint for real. That especially referred to art classes for teens. They told most art classes were rather craft classes that deal with glue, markers, inks, papers, mixed media topped on each other, and so on. Basically, they were looking for somebody who has the skill of drawing, sketching and painting and is able to present this skill to others. So they were very happy to find me.

Is that a surprise? It actually isn’t when we take into account the dramatically shortening attention span due to the overuse of devices, lack of commitment due to the inability to prioritize important things in our life and fake positive reviews of entertaining art events like paint nights. While some people who have no art creation experience would assume that entertaining art events with cocktails and food are art classes, as strange as it sounds, I must admit that they simply cannot be by their nature because they won’t teach anybody anything.

We have arrived at very misleading art instruction models. Most of them are designed to please the participant and to make believe that they are gaining a lot.

One of my 12-year-old students literally nailed it during the last watercolor class: most people are interested only in the final products and they have no interest or patience to learn about the process of getting to this final product.

Indeed, we are seeing this frequently. Due to the fact that potential students are made to believe they will learn something about drawing and painting while actually not learning anything, many venues that offer art classes are trying to go the way of the least resistance: they offer paper or canvas with drawing on it, so that the student has to only apply paint as instructed on these surfaces. Most events are a few hours a single night or one day only because everybody is in a big rush. Is it possible to master everything within such a small time frame? No, it isn’t. Alone brushing techniques take months to practice and manage, not to mention that colors, values and composition matter. We always place something in the painting on a certain spot, not where happens, but where it makes sense. Our task is to find out how to detect this spot.

While most people who sketch or paint somewhat representative scenes and subjects implement roads, buildings, fences, water streams, paths, tree lines and distance, only a few are aware that this is done by using linear perspective to which we are adding atmospheric or chromatic perspective to achieve impact and give our image power.

If we want to make art instruction meaningful again and if we want people to really fall in love with creativity and hand-made art, we have to go the long and more difficult way. We have to allow teens and adults who want to learn to do so. Having the final product or masterwork done in just a few hours is an illusion. Nevertheless, there are lots of people who believe in that. Final product or masterwork cannot be the only goal. What matters in this case is the journey to the final product, the multiple techniques and approaches, the enjoyable path to self-discovery, satisfaction and feeling of fulfillment.

So, I received nice compliments about my art instruction because nobody else actually bothers with teaching potential students the understanding of main drawing and painting principles in this area.

Our recent project: progress

I also wanted to make an art class which is impossible to replicate online: just because the content of this class rests on the presence and the interaction between me, group and everybody as an individual.

art instruction: sketching and watercolor

Therefore, I am proud that my drawing, sketching and painting classes provide teens and adults with a meaningful art instruction that ensures one has tools to enjoy a creative freedom and is able to draw, sketch and paint anything they want and the way they would like to. I believe that is different and that works in favor of a student.

Please see also: https://inesepogagallery.com/2017/10/02/art-created-different-dimension/

And if you live in Ontario, you can apply for my art classes directly here:  https://inesepogagallery.com/classes-workshops-schedule/

Art instruction: online versus real, myths versus reality

Art instruction can be found in abundance everywhere: there are numerous online classes, numerous websites that will give an idea of that and also countless real life events. 100% of students who attend my art classes have been watching YouTube art instruction videos, demos and suggestions. One would think they have learned a lot. In fact, it isn’t the case. Most people after spending a lot of time with online art instruction videos haven’t learned anything. That sounds strange, but it is a fact. Most people who have been watching YouTube tutorials and demos do not know how to use the brush with acrylic, how to blend paint and how to make the correct color they want. Most people who were learning drawing and watercolor painting using online video tutorials are afraid of water; they do not know how to apply watercolor paint, how much water to use, how to time the painting process and how to avoid muddy colors. Most people, who were learning how to draw online, cannot draw anything on their own or using real things and their set-up compositions. They can only trace a photo or use an outline printout for their drawing. Why would that be? Why haven’t they become skilled after spending numerous hours at the screen? The reason might be the one-sidedness. If one has a lot of artistic experience and knowledge of paint application techniques and understanding of paint properties, they will benefit from such online art instruction videos. These, who have zero experience, most likely will not. I believe these art instruction videos are good for inspiration and issue solving if you have plenty of painting and drawing experience. If you do not have such experience, you will rather get confused and disappointed. In real and live class, I can see how somebody understood the demo or painting tip. You’d be surprised seeing what levels of moisture are applied when I am saying: make your paper wet. That ranges from flooded paper with puddles of water to slightly seeing shine on it. Graded wash is understood in very different ways: from thick layer of paint to no paint at all. Not to mention a wet paint application on wet paper and a dry paint application on wet or dry paper. Timing is a very important part of painting with either watercolor, or acrylic. By not observing timing and making good use of it, the potential artist will definitely get frustrated. There are things which are easy to do when the timing is right and impossible to do at all if the timing is wrong. When you are sitting on one side of screen, nobody can check or see how exactly you are applying advice or tip. In a real life class, I can see right away whether the paint is too wet, too dry, there is too little of it or there is way too much of it. I can see right away who understood the technique and who is struggling with it. I am able to notice the weaknesses and the strengths right away, as well. Brushing techniques are probably the most important part of acrylic painting. Most people have absolutely no idea about these techniques. It is understood that it does not matter how you put the acrylic paint on canvas. Well, that makes the painting experience either pleasant, or results in frustration when one cannot achieve what they want to. Most people do not know how wet and how dry watercolor paint should be, and I have seen how some would try applying it without any water at all. Sounds crazy? Yes, it is weird because we call it watercolor since it can be used only with water. Pigment in watercolor paint is activated using water, otherwise it won’t work. Without doing this properly, there is no watercolor painting, but we create a streaky smear. There is a principle which is always true when it comes to art supplies: the better quality art supplies are, the easier it is to apply them; and vice versa: the worse quality art supplies are, the more skills one will need to use them properly and to achieve good results. While many art instruction demos and videos are called “How to paint ….” they should be called, in fact, “How I paint ….” because there are lots of ways to interpret one and the same subject and one and the same theme. Many of demos also instead of “How to paint …” fall in the category “How not to paint …”. That’s just how wrong the demo or art instruction advice can be. With the wide-spread accessibility of internet and opportunity to share and post anything, we cannot be always sure if the advice we are given is correct or if it will ever work for us in particular. We have to approach everything selectively. That refers not only to art instruction, but also to any advice for any situation in life. We have seen by now how art instruction is given by people who do not have the slightest teaching or art experience, as well. Art instruction has become an area where everybody is an expert. Would anybody teach and give music lessons? Piano or guitar lessons, for instance? No, they would not. Would anybody without any knowledge and skill teach foreign language, math or chemistry? No, they would not because that means misleading the student and pretending that one has what they do not. When it comes to drawing and painting, it is assumed that having no experience is not an issue. Just teach it and everything will be fine, which is profoundly wrong. I would say if you want to see fast results and create a decent and interesting art, you definitely have to start with real and live art instruction. Let the art instructor see how and what you are doing because that is the only way to find out why some things absolutely do not work and what you should be doing to make this experience rewarding and uplifting. Realistically, the things one needs to learn are the main principles of drawing and painting, not the style and techniques of artist X, Y or Z. The truth is that once you have learned the basics and have established the foundation you will be able to create anything, draw and paint anything in your personal style and to develop a personal approach to any subject. That won’t limit you to just being able to paint one particular scene and subject. It will feel like: I can draw and paint any scene, any still life and floral composition. I can draw and paint anything. That’s why starting with techniques, values, color theory and composition is important. Practically, that means finding out what your brush, paint and pencil can do once you know how to use them. Therefore, I would suggest, we start with basics and go from simple subjects to very complex ones. Along with becoming skilled in art, drawing and painting are the absolutely best things to devote our free time and leisure hours to. This means also exploring ourselves, becoming smarter, better with decision making and invisibly growing new brain cells, as well, extending the lifetime of the existing brain cells. That means a better memory and an improved cognitive function.

Art instruction can be found in abundance everywhere: there are numerous online classes, numerous websites that will give an idea of that and also countless real life events.

100% of students who attend my art classes have been watching YouTube art instruction videos, demos and suggestions. One would think they have learned a lot. In fact, it isn’t the case.

Most people after spending a lot of time with online art instruction videos haven’t learned anything. That sounds strange, but it is a fact. Most people who have been watching YouTube tutorials and demos do not know how to use the brush with acrylic, how to blend paint and how to make the correct color they want. Most people who were learning drawing and watercolor painting using online video tutorials are afraid of water; they do not know how to apply watercolor paint, how much water to use, how to time the painting process and how to avoid muddy colors.  Most people, who were learning how to draw online, cannot draw anything on their own or using real things and their set-up compositions. They can only trace a photo or use an outline printout for their drawing.

Why would that be? Why haven’t they become skilled after spending numerous hours at the screen?

The reason might be the one-sidedness. If one has a lot of artistic experience and knowledge of paint application techniques and understanding of paint properties, they will benefit from such online art instruction videos. These, who have zero experience, most likely will not. I believe these art instruction videos are good for inspiration and issue solving if you have plenty of painting and drawing experience. If you do not have such experience, you will rather get confused and disappointed. In real and live class, I can see how somebody understood the demo or painting tip. You’d be surprised seeing what levels of moisture are applied when I am saying: make your paper wet. That ranges from flooded paper with puddles of water to slightly seeing shine on it. Graded wash is understood in very different ways: from thick layer of paint to no paint at all. Not to mention a wet paint application on wet paper and a dry paint application on wet or dry paper. Timing is a very important part of painting with either watercolor, or acrylic. By not observing timing and making good use of it, the potential artist will definitely get frustrated. There are things which are easy to do when the timing is right and impossible to do at all if the timing is wrong.

When you are sitting on one side of screen, nobody can check or see how exactly you are applying advice or tip. In a real life class, I can see right away whether the paint is too wet, too dry, there is too little of it or there is way too much of it. I can see right away who understood the technique and who is struggling with it. I am able to notice the weaknesses and the strengths right away, as well.

Brushing techniques are probably the most important part of acrylic painting. Most people have absolutely no idea about these techniques. It is understood that it does not matter how you put the acrylic paint on canvas. Well, that makes the painting experience either pleasant, or results in frustration when one cannot achieve what they want to.

Art instruction can be found in abundance everywhere: there are numerous online classes, numerous websites that will give an idea of that and also countless real life events. 100% of students who attend my art classes have been watching YouTube art instruction videos, demos and suggestions. One would think they have learned a lot. In fact, it isn’t the case. Most people after spending a lot of time with online art instruction videos haven’t learned anything. That sounds strange, but it is a fact. Most people who have been watching YouTube tutorials and demos do not know how to use the brush with acrylic, how to blend paint and how to make the correct color they want. Most people who were learning drawing and watercolor painting using online video tutorials are afraid of water; they do not know how to apply watercolor paint, how much water to use, how to time the painting process and how to avoid muddy colors. Most people, who were learning how to draw online, cannot draw anything on their own or using real things and their set-up compositions. They can only trace a photo or use an outline printout for their drawing. Why would that be? Why haven’t they become skilled after spending numerous hours at the screen? The reason might be the one-sidedness. If one has a lot of artistic experience and knowledge of paint application techniques and understanding of paint properties, they will benefit from such online art instruction videos. These, who have zero experience, most likely will not. I believe these art instruction videos are good for inspiration and issue solving if you have plenty of painting and drawing experience. If you do not have such experience, you will rather get confused and disappointed. In real and live class, I can see how somebody understood the demo or painting tip. You’d be surprised seeing what levels of moisture are applied when I am saying: make your paper wet. That ranges from flooded paper with puddles of water to slightly seeing shine on it. Graded wash is understood in very different ways: from thick layer of paint to no paint at all. Not to mention a wet paint application on wet paper and a dry paint application on wet or dry paper. Timing is a very important part of painting with either watercolor, or acrylic. By not observing timing and making good use of it, the potential artist will definitely get frustrated. There are things which are easy to do when the timing is right and impossible to do at all if the timing is wrong. When you are sitting on one side of screen, nobody can check or see how exactly you are applying advice or tip. In a real life class, I can see right away whether the paint is too wet, too dry, there is too little of it or there is way too much of it. I can see right away who understood the technique and who is struggling with it. I am able to notice the weaknesses and the strengths right away, as well. Brushing techniques are probably the most important part of acrylic painting. Most people have absolutely no idea about these techniques. It is understood that it does not matter how you put the acrylic paint on canvas. Well, that makes the painting experience either pleasant, or results in frustration when one cannot achieve what they want to. Most people do not know how wet and how dry watercolor paint should be, and I have seen how some would try applying it without any water at all. Sounds crazy? Yes, it is weird because we call it watercolor since it can be used only with water. Pigment in watercolor paint is activated using water, otherwise it won’t work. Without doing this properly, there is no watercolor painting, but we create a streaky smear. There is a principle which is always true when it comes to art supplies: the better quality art supplies are, the easier it is to apply them; and vice versa: the worse quality art supplies are, the more skills one will need to use them properly and to achieve good results. While many art instruction demos and videos are called “How to paint ….” they should be called, in fact, “How I paint ….” because there are lots of ways to interpret one and the same subject and one and the same theme. Many of demos also instead of “How to paint …” fall in the category “How not to paint …”. That’s just how wrong the demo or art instruction advice can be. With the wide-spread accessibility of internet and opportunity to share and post anything, we cannot be always sure if the advice we are given is correct or if it will ever work for us in particular. We have to approach everything selectively. That refers not only to art instruction, but also to any advice for any situation in life. We have seen by now how art instruction is given by people who do not have the slightest teaching or art experience, as well. Art instruction has become an area where everybody is an expert. Would anybody teach and give music lessons? Piano or guitar lessons, for instance? No, they would not. Would anybody without any knowledge and skill teach foreign language, math or chemistry? No, they would not because that means misleading the student and pretending that one has what they do not. When it comes to drawing and painting, it is assumed that having no experience is not an issue. Just teach it and everything will be fine, which is profoundly wrong. I would say if you want to see fast results and create a decent and interesting art, you definitely have to start with real and live art instruction. Let the art instructor see how and what you are doing because that is the only way to find out why some things absolutely do not work and what you should be doing to make this experience rewarding and uplifting. Realistically, the things one needs to learn are the main principles of drawing and painting, not the style and techniques of artist X, Y or Z. The truth is that once you have learned the basics and have established the foundation you will be able to create anything, draw and paint anything in your personal style and to develop a personal approach to any subject. That won’t limit you to just being able to paint one particular scene and subject. It will feel like: I can draw and paint any scene, any still life and floral composition. I can draw and paint anything. That’s why starting with techniques, values, color theory and composition is important. Practically, that means finding out what your brush, paint and pencil can do once you know how to use them. Therefore, I would suggest, we start with basics and go from simple subjects to very complex ones. Along with becoming skilled in art, drawing and painting are the absolutely best things to devote our free time and leisure hours to. This means also exploring ourselves, becoming smarter, better with decision making and invisibly growing new brain cells, as well, extending the lifetime of the existing brain cells. That means a better memory and an improved cognitive function.

Most people do not know how wet and how dry watercolor paint should be, and I have seen how some would try applying it without any water at all. Sounds crazy? Yes, it is weird because we call it watercolor since it can be used only with water. Pigment in watercolor paint is activated using water, otherwise it won’t work. Without doing this properly, there is no watercolor painting, but we create a streaky smear.

There is a principle which is always true when it comes to art supplies: the better quality art supplies are, the easier it is to apply them; and vice versa: the worse quality art supplies are, the more skills one will need to use them properly and to achieve good results.

While many art instruction demos and videos are called “How to paint ….” they should be called, in fact, “How I paint ….” because there are lots of ways to interpret one and the same subject and one and the same theme. Many of demos also instead of “How to paint …” fall in the category “How not to paint …”. That’s just how wrong the demo or art instruction advice can be. With the wide-spread accessibility of internet and opportunity to share and post anything, we cannot be always sure if the advice we are given is correct or if it will ever work for us in particular. We have to approach everything selectively. That refers not only to art instruction, but also to any advice for any situation in life.

We have seen by now how art instruction is given by people who do not have the slightest teaching or art experience, as well. Art instruction has become an area where everybody is an expert. Would anybody teach and give music lessons? Piano or guitar lessons, for instance? No, they would not. Would anybody without any knowledge and skill teach foreign language, math or chemistry? No, they would not because that means misleading the student and pretending that one has what they do not. When it comes to drawing and painting, it is assumed that having no experience is not an issue. Just teach it and everything will be fine, which is profoundly wrong.

I would say if you want to see fast results and create a decent and interesting art, you definitely have to start with real and live art instruction. Let the art instructor see how and what you are doing because that is the only way to find out why some things absolutely do not work and what you should be doing to make this experience rewarding and uplifting.

Realistically, the things one needs to learn are the main principles of drawing and painting, not the style and techniques of artist X, Y or Z. The truth is that once you have learned the basics and have established the foundation you will be able to create anything, draw and paint anything in your personal style and to develop a personal approach to any subject. That won’t limit you to just being able to paint one particular scene and subject. It will feel like: I can draw and paint any scene, any still life and floral composition. I can draw and paint anything. That’s why starting with techniques, values, color theory and composition is important. Practically, that means finding out what your brush, paint and pencil can do once you know how to use them.

Art instruction can be found in abundance everywhere: there are numerous online classes, numerous websites that will give an idea of that and also countless real life events. 100% of students who attend my art classes have been watching YouTube art instruction videos, demos and suggestions. One would think they have learned a lot. In fact, it isn’t the case. Most people after spending a lot of time with online art instruction videos haven’t learned anything. That sounds strange, but it is a fact. Most people who have been watching YouTube tutorials and demos do not know how to use the brush with acrylic, how to blend paint and how to make the correct color they want. Most people who were learning drawing and watercolor painting using online video tutorials are afraid of water; they do not know how to apply watercolor paint, how much water to use, how to time the painting process and how to avoid muddy colors. Most people, who were learning how to draw online, cannot draw anything on their own or using real things and their set-up compositions. They can only trace a photo or use an outline printout for their drawing. Why would that be? Why haven’t they become skilled after spending numerous hours at the screen? The reason might be the one-sidedness. If one has a lot of artistic experience and knowledge of paint application techniques and understanding of paint properties, they will benefit from such online art instruction videos. These, who have zero experience, most likely will not. I believe these art instruction videos are good for inspiration and issue solving if you have plenty of painting and drawing experience. If you do not have such experience, you will rather get confused and disappointed. In real and live class, I can see how somebody understood the demo or painting tip. You’d be surprised seeing what levels of moisture are applied when I am saying: make your paper wet. That ranges from flooded paper with puddles of water to slightly seeing shine on it. Graded wash is understood in very different ways: from thick layer of paint to no paint at all. Not to mention a wet paint application on wet paper and a dry paint application on wet or dry paper. Timing is a very important part of painting with either watercolor, or acrylic. By not observing timing and making good use of it, the potential artist will definitely get frustrated. There are things which are easy to do when the timing is right and impossible to do at all if the timing is wrong. When you are sitting on one side of screen, nobody can check or see how exactly you are applying advice or tip. In a real life class, I can see right away whether the paint is too wet, too dry, there is too little of it or there is way too much of it. I can see right away who understood the technique and who is struggling with it. I am able to notice the weaknesses and the strengths right away, as well. Brushing techniques are probably the most important part of acrylic painting. Most people have absolutely no idea about these techniques. It is understood that it does not matter how you put the acrylic paint on canvas. Well, that makes the painting experience either pleasant, or results in frustration when one cannot achieve what they want to. Most people do not know how wet and how dry watercolor paint should be, and I have seen how some would try applying it without any water at all. Sounds crazy? Yes, it is weird because we call it watercolor since it can be used only with water. Pigment in watercolor paint is activated using water, otherwise it won’t work. Without doing this properly, there is no watercolor painting, but we create a streaky smear. There is a principle which is always true when it comes to art supplies: the better quality art supplies are, the easier it is to apply them; and vice versa: the worse quality art supplies are, the more skills one will need to use them properly and to achieve good results. While many art instruction demos and videos are called “How to paint ….” they should be called, in fact, “How I paint ….” because there are lots of ways to interpret one and the same subject and one and the same theme. Many of demos also instead of “How to paint …” fall in the category “How not to paint …”. That’s just how wrong the demo or art instruction advice can be. With the wide-spread accessibility of internet and opportunity to share and post anything, we cannot be always sure if the advice we are given is correct or if it will ever work for us in particular. We have to approach everything selectively. That refers not only to art instruction, but also to any advice for any situation in life. We have seen by now how art instruction is given by people who do not have the slightest teaching or art experience, as well. Art instruction has become an area where everybody is an expert. Would anybody teach and give music lessons? Piano or guitar lessons, for instance? No, they would not. Would anybody without any knowledge and skill teach foreign language, math or chemistry? No, they would not because that means misleading the student and pretending that one has what they do not. When it comes to drawing and painting, it is assumed that having no experience is not an issue. Just teach it and everything will be fine, which is profoundly wrong. I would say if you want to see fast results and create a decent and interesting art, you definitely have to start with real and live art instruction. Let the art instructor see how and what you are doing because that is the only way to find out why some things absolutely do not work and what you should be doing to make this experience rewarding and uplifting. Realistically, the things one needs to learn are the main principles of drawing and painting, not the style and techniques of artist X, Y or Z. The truth is that once you have learned the basics and have established the foundation you will be able to create anything, draw and paint anything in your personal style and to develop a personal approach to any subject. That won’t limit you to just being able to paint one particular scene and subject. It will feel like: I can draw and paint any scene, any still life and floral composition. I can draw and paint anything. That’s why starting with techniques, values, color theory and composition is important. Practically, that means finding out what your brush, paint and pencil can do once you know how to use them. Therefore, I would suggest, we start with basics and go from simple subjects to very complex ones. Along with becoming skilled in art, drawing and painting are the absolutely best things to devote our free time and leisure hours to. This means also exploring ourselves, becoming smarter, better with decision making and invisibly growing new brain cells, as well, extending the lifetime of the existing brain cells. That means a better memory and an improved cognitive function.

Our December art project: beginners and students with experience, everybody got fantastic results. It was a very successful art instruction, and I finished a few versions of my demo paintings. This is one of them. 

Therefore, I would suggest, we start with basics and go from simple subjects to very complex ones. Along with becoming skilled in art, drawing and painting are the absolutely best things to devote our free time and leisure hours to. This means also exploring ourselves, becoming smarter, better with decision-making and invisibly growing new brain cells, as well, extending the lifetime of the existing brain cells. That means a better memory and an improved cognitive function.

Suggestions on how to choose art classes: https://inesepogagallery.com/2017/10/09/choose-art-classes/

Registration for art classes: https://inesepogagallery.com/classes-workshops-schedule/

And some of our previous experiences: https://inesepogagallery.com/2013/09/20/art-classes-a-worthwhile-activity/

Value of creativity and creative fall paintings

Creativity is a very valuable feature. Creativity can save us in bad times and help blossom in good times. I have noticed that people either are creative, or they believe they do not need creativity. These who can buy everything ready-made, do not usually bother too much with being creative.

Creativity is frequently inherited: no child should grow up being only as creative as the computer or cell phone screen allows. The genuine creativity does not need much; it often uses just a small idea, a guess that we could make something out of nothing. By repurposing and recycling old things, we create a new life for them. That is a very interesting process on its own, and these old things become so adorable by adding just an artistically creative touch.

Creative brain is actually flexible, resourceful and very active brain. It tries to explore every potential, possibility and probability. It skips the surface and looks deeper: what if something useful is hiding there?

Most people are not born with a need for creativity or being addicted to a creative self-expression. It is possible to live long and happy life without ever having an idea what that is.

I do not like the pre-printed greeting cards because they take away from me the creative freedom: there is no space for my own poem or words I want to say to that particular person. I prefer to create my own greeting cards.

I have noticed a huge decline in human cognitive function just over the past 7 years. The decision making ability has decreased abnormally.

While most people can type, how many can still do hand-drawing or hand-writing? I hear you: who needs the handwriting or drawing when one can get everything done much faster using the touch screen? Well, our brain does. Nobody has cancelled the fine motor skills, and the more one excels at drawing from life, the more active brain they will have for a long time.

Art is definitely totally underappreciated as a recovery tool from cognitive slow-downs. The benefits from doing art and being creative are many.

Most people believe that perfecting drawing or painting skills is necessary only for artists, however, the regular artistic activities are the best brain booster ever, just to mention journaling, sketching, sketchbook keeping, writing and illustrating diaries, creating decorations or gifts.

One should not put it off until the moment when sharp decline in cognitive function is observed. Daily practicing is certainly the best: the more exercise we give the brain, the better our eye-hand coordination, memory and visual perception becomes.

Art classes do not require being an artist, but these who just picked up the pencil or brush should be also aware that art does not happen in 1 hour. Never. Painting a wall takes some skill, but painting images on that wall will certainly take a lot more skill.

Creativity can be developed and boosted, but the main thing is the willingness to be creative. That means thinking creatively, making unexpected decisions, finding answers to new questions and practising a lot.

I am very patient. I can works for years on a painting until I take it there where I want it to be.

The cheapening of art and the fact that everything is called art is really hurting me and artists who take art seriously. If I paint for 3 weeks every single day, I am not willing to sell such painting for 50 bucks. I am not. I also sometimes like some painting so much that I cannot detach myself from it. That passes over time, but there is huge attraction sometimes.

There are certainly people who produce art: use one template, the same set of colors and tools and just make out more and more of the same. That is art production.

We worked on sponge and acrylic project last week. I personally use sponge with acrylic paint a lot because that allows implementing under-painting or first layers much faster, thus, giving more time for top layers.

To learn using sponge with acrylic paints, you can apply for live art classes if you are in Durham region, Ontario: https://inesepogagallery.com/classes-workshops-schedule/

Retouched grey fall barns

Prints

Fall paintings grey barns
The grey fall barns creative fall paintings

The afternoon birch forest

Prints and art products with prints

Value of creativity, creative fall paintings, birch forest
Afternoon birch forest, creative painting

The birch forest path

Prints and art products with prints

Value of creativity, birch forest path painting
Birch forest path

Enjoy!

 

Art studio: my reality needs a place to create, dream and live

Art studio is a place to create, recharge, work, relax, nurture big ideas, turn ideas into reality and dream. I like keeping my art studio well organized, neat and clean. It is because I’m used to that since early childhood: we had to clean all rooms in the house on Saturday, so that we can take a relaxing break in a dust-free and neat home on Sunday and start fresh on Monday. Early childhood habits stay with us for a long time, and I am grateful to my mom who always showed such a fantastic example of how to decorate with self-made things, how to sew something that really makes us stand out and how to use flowers and outdoor finds to make the space extremely cozy, lovely and welcoming. Thanks, mom!

I was a good student.

Therefore, my desk is always tidy and not overloaded; my painting tables are always organized so that everything I need is within reach. People who paint something more complicated than abstracted washes are aware that sometimes every minute we lose in crucial moments later requires working for hours to bring back the effect we had achieved. Timing is everything with water media, either acrylic or watercolor. That’s why I cannot answer phone, as well, if I’m in the middle of painting. Calling somebody is really bad habit unless there’s real urgency. I rarely use phone for calls, except when contacting doctor’s office or similar places. Phone is always at the wrong time. Always. There might be extremely rare exceptions when we are expecting a call, and even that is disturbing.

So, the studio is organized, tools and materials are in their right places, and cleaning never takes too much time. The golden rule is very simple: if you want to never look for something, find a suitable place for every type of items or every particular frequently used thing and always put it back where you got it from. I have no problem finding everything even when the power goes out: I do place everything back where I take it from and I also have a very good visual memory. Photographic memory, I’d say. Extremely good visual memory is the result of drawing and painting. I do not need any lists or written schedules since my head keeps it in the right order and allows recalling exactly when I need it.

It’s just so that if I am not assigning to something a label: important, memorize, I might or might not recall it exactly. I do make my brain aware of things that need to be remembered by paying a special attention or looking or reading that spot twice.

In my case, more technology has killed everything I was doing, and that has led to not that brilliant sequences. Therefore, I do not use and I am not willing to use any technology in my painting process. That means drawing and painting mostly from either real scenes and subjects, or imagination. That works well.

When I was studying at the University and even after that, I was really in portrait and figure drawing. Some people later in my life destroyed any desire to draw portraits. I just started to feel that only nature won’t present itself with lies and in a pretentious manner. I found beauty where I had not noticed it before, like in some simple piece of weathered wood, withered leaf, opening bud or branch of half-dry tree with bird sitting on it. I mean that type of things. Classes require painting more robust scenes because my personal preferences do not necessarily suit the vision of somebody else.

It is a huge advantage to have a specifically designed place for arts and crafts. I have a specific sewing place upstairs where fabrics, threads, buttons, zippers and all kinds of additional materials are neatly sorted in boxes and on shelves. I definitely need a place where everything is ready and waiting for creative outburst. I do not understand how difficult it must be doing arts or crafts at kitchen table since that can be used only for limited time. That is a bad situation.

When we were looking for a place, I noticed that Canadian houses are absolutely not suited for creativity: there is a kitchen, dining room, bedroom, one or more bathrooms, but nothing where to create. Basement doesn’t work, in fact, for art because artificial lighting regardless of how good or white it is will always distort the color. Colors are true only by the real daylight and for somebody like me who is extremely sensitive to shift in a shade of color this is crucial. Being in a basement doesn’t do any good for nobody because we need the daylight and, especially, sunlight.

Art studio: inspiration

Art studio: achievements

Art studio: beauty

Art studio: memories

Art studio: pleasure

Art studio: work

Art studio:  inviting and rewarding space

If you do not have a place for your art studio but are very much interested in creativity and recycling things, sewing, crafting and similar activities: fight for it. We do not live only to sleep, eat and entertain ourselves at screens. I assume people who do not have any passion boring and just filling in the space where we could allow our creative spirit to lift us in previously unseen heights.

Art gets done so many unbelievably good tasks: decreases addictions, helps overcome depression and bad mood, makes us more confident and self-aware, allows feeling not lonely, takes away sadness and despair, opens our eyes to new possibilities, fills us with gratefulness and appreciation and, finally: it is the best way of meditation ever because we have created something enjoyable and usable at the end, too.

Definitely, it’s time your family has an art and craft studio, too: to take a break from screens and to realize that genuine happiness means creation, not only consumption.

How to choose art classes

Many people who feel attracted to art, sign up for art and painting classes in the fall. Certainly, days are getting shorter and the weather gradually changes from very pleasant to quite nasty, rainy and chilly. I will not list all advantages of joining an art class or painting group this time because I’ve been mentioning them multiple times, and there are so many: from building your confidence and self-esteem and finding a great thing to fill up the long nights to effects similar to meditation which allow one floating away from daily troubles and problems, to mental fitness and rejuvenation of brain cells. The created art becomes just another gain along the way.

When choosing an art class, you should first check out what the instructor does: what are his or her favorite subjects, style, colors, approach. If you generally do not like such art as instructor is doing, so most likely you will the class unsuitable. For instance, if instructor is in meticulous copy creation of photos, you most likely will not be learning how to paint abstracts; or if she or he never do portrait painting, it is unlikely the class will provide with portrait painting skills.

Secondly, make sure the size of group somewhat works with you. I hear people complaining that they signed up for an art class and never got any attention, therefore, never learned anything. Well, if a weekly art class is 2 hours long and there are 20 or even more students in the classroom, how would you get a lot of attention? You can count on some 5 minutes of individual instruction in the best case because no instructor can run around all class while they are showing how to paint something. It is obvious that you have to choose a small art class if you require much advice or want very individual approach.

Thirdly, find out what level this art class is for. If some class is intended for advanced painters, most often, if you are just starting out you will not be able to catch up with others.

Beginner is somebody who hasn’t done at least 200 small size paintings or 150 larger paintings.

Next thing is: be realistic in expectations. That is probably the most overlooked aspect of any art class or studies of creative things.

Learning how to use tools takes time. That means: any tools. Although, everybody has seen a painting brush and quite frequently people have tried using it painting something on their own, it does not mean that you know how to actually use it. Any brush (they come in very many sizes, shapes and are made from all kinds of materials) can be used for some very specific things and also for some very general approaches. It is obviously possible to use just one brush start to finish, but the key is to find one that suits you and the task you want to accomplish. That depends also on your personal preferences, medium and subject.

Materials are an extremely important thing also for an art class, so, the best results will definitely be achieved using good quality materials straight from the beginning.

I have heard this often: I’m just learning, so I will use the cheapest materials for now. Well, that might not work at all because using bad materials can easily become a torture and nuisance. Sometimes students struggle around bad watercolor paper and they think they are doing something wrong, but, in fact, it is the paper which prevents from getting acceptable results. The funny part is that when one has a lot of experience they can survive with bad materials because their mastery will cover up the flaws, but initially, when there is very little knowledge, good materials will help overcoming your insecurities.

Equally important is also having your own materials. It might seem: what’s the difference? The answer is: there is a huge difference between paints, brushes, canvas, papers, pencils and even erasers, not to mention that is one of the most important aspects of learning. Tools matter, surface matters, paints and brands matter. There is no other way to become familiar with some materials in particular as using them.

Many people think that art classes and artistic activities cost a lot of money. Comparatively, I have to admit that is not really true. Most classes are way cheaper than going to a movie, about 8-10 times cheaper than attending a concert, at least 2 times cheaper than getting a hairdo, minimum 2 times cheaper than dining out at a medium quality place, much cheaper than boozing at a pub and so on. If your priority is to eat, work and sleep, that might seem like a big expense, but if you are looking for an overall improvement of your mental state, brain flexibility, memory, life quality and health improvement, it is just something which will pay back over many upcoming years. Therefore, the first question should not be “How much”. While the cost makes up an important part of anything we are doing and affording, there are very many other factors to consider. All classes are different: some are just a few weeks, some are a few months, some are short in a very large group and some are long and almost private. The most important part is to sign up for something that you feel interested in. One should also be prepared to learn, practice and memorize things, be spontaneous, courageous, daring and fearless, as well as have enough personal time for not feeling rushed.

I recently got new pictures and got a chance to post some watercolors on DailyPaintworks site.

I always work harder on pictures than actual paintings.

Colors in context images are much more like in reality.

I loved them, I hope it becomes a source of pleasure for other people, too.

This is the updated painting

 

They sell at $150, plus $15 shipping in Canada and USA.

Clear white on DPW

Enjoy!

Culture Days: free sketching event

Culture Days is a big deal in Canada. I must admit people love these free events and it is also a fantastic motivation to get involved.

We should love culture and we should implement creativity in our schedule regardless of what day or month that is.

People who do arts and creative things get much less depressed and they are less affected by bad news that surrounds us.

They learn living mindfully and consciously, and care about balance: while creativity takes some money that we put in materials, tools and space, it gives back a lot, too. That is not always countable in dollars and measurable by profits, but the gain is rather in experience. That is an incomparable experience, and if you have never tried to create something or engage in creativity, you most likely do not know how uplifting, encouraging and healing this experience can be.

My personal goal is to convince more people to devote some part, even if it is a small part to art and artistic self-expression.

Creativity is life, light and future. Consumerism is a dead-end and self-destruction.

Art culture reveals the nation’s true potential and values.

Although, I have absolutely no sponsors as large art places do, I still wanted to offer everybody to try sketching. Just to see how much fun it can be and that one doesn’t need any previous art experience to get started. I will provide with all materials.

I always bring watercolor sets from my annual trips to Europe. Therefore I will give away 2 watercolor sets which can be used indoors and outdoors for sketching and watercolor painting. If you intended to sign up for either Tuesday daytime or Tuesday night watercolor painting class, so you have a chance to win these watercolor sets tomorrow.

Giveaway: 2 sets of watercolor paints for beginners in painting.

To give some inspiration to these who are interested in acrylic painting, I am attaching 2 images.

Art is light. A large, very textured, light filled acrylic painting “The path of fall”

Acrylic, 30 in x 24 in (76 cm x 61 cm), only for pickup in Ontario since it is quite heavy, $600

Color in waterfall: acrylic on canvas, 24 in x 20 in (61 cm x 51 cm); $420

Ships in Canada approx. $40 and to USA at approx. $50


Culture and art are two sides of one creative experience.

It is rainy and nasty today, but I hope the sun will be out tomorrow.

Therefore, I kindly invite everybody who can make it to come to my studio tomorrow between 1 and 4 pm. I will also show and explain pros and cons of art materials, as well as demonstrate them in action.

Culture days should bring art and creativity to every person in the local community. Just don’t be lazy and come out for a pleasant and great experience!

Different approach to art class: focus on relaxing and stress-free creativity

I am offering a new art class this fall: to paint and to relax letting all concerns and problems go. The key to creativity is being relaxed and not to expect miracles, but learn creating them.

I noticed that some students were taking art classes way too seriously, and being not in a relaxed mood does not allow achieving the same results what people, who always take things easy, do.

I want to make a welcoming environment for creation so that purely technical goals become secondary while painting.

American traditional art teaching pays too much attention to the technical execution of art while leaving the emotional and spiritual side totally neglected. Especially, when I just relocated to Canada, it was definitely overwhelming how sometimes artwork would scream: I am technically perfect, every smallest dot and line is where they should be and every color is exactly as the textbook requires. That is why some artists go for big lengths: they trace and copy photos, and redraw and repaint everything what in digitally adjusted photo is. Where is the creativity? That allows achieving a perfection which frequently lacks feelings and does not move emotions. I would like to emphasize: the creative process is the most valuable part of the artistic phenomenon.

Perfection in art is not the best guiding idea because it simply does not allow unfolding the creative potential.

I hear this quite frequently: I’m not touching this painting anymore because I do not want to damage it. Well, leaving work unfinished isn’t good either.

I also wanted to make an art class which is impossible to replicate online: just because the content of this class rests on the presence and the interaction between me, group and everybody as an individual.

I will gear everything towards a great, interesting, amazing and positive experience. That means learning about oneself and art, and learning to be creative without the annoying pressure which some teaching venues want to impose on somebody who is looking for a new skill and ability.

We will use blocks of paper, so that at the end of this  positive painting session  everybody will have an image diary and will be able to continue adding creations.

Inspiration and immersion in calm, creative environment is something we do not find often or elsewhere.

I believe, this type of art class where experience and activity flow together creating emotional satisfaction, thus, releasing stresses and providing with a new perspective on the bothering issues in one’s life, will be well attended and appreciated.

It’s very interesting that I was away and did not do any advertising so far, but people were applying, in fact, a lot of people, that included the new daytime watercolor painting class.

I am adding as illustration some brush stroke and wash only paintings which do not need any drawing. We use only watercolor and water, and we watch what happens and how our thoughts and ideas look on paper.

Watercolor paintings without drawing: fun, relaxing brushing and interesting flow of pigment:

Leaf patterns, washes and more washes, available at $85

Leaf patterns

Road towards the fall

Distant storm

Side by side with summer, available at $40 

Side by side with summer

Sponge trees

October sketch

Art classes are for everybody because we will be using only our personal preferences with choosing colors, subjects and the way they look.

And finally, the best new watercolor painting “Water edge”, available at $85 plus shipping Water edge

Participants will have a lot of choice: they can draw, they can use pen or they can also do very abstract or semi-abstract art for their image diary. That’s why it’s called: stress relief with color and line.

Art classes and fall start soon

Fall art classes start soon. That is a fact. Fall is here. This might be the most inspirational time for poets and artists, especially these ones who are taken away by color.

My fall art classes usually resume in October. I went to Latvia earlier this year, so, art classes can start sooner and be long enough to learn plenty. It’s going to be October.

I had to think a lot how to arrange art classes this year: I tried 1-day workshops, 2-day workshops, monthly classes and 2 classes on the same subject. I tried everything, I believe. I will have 8 classes in a row this season because it felt as if previous approach did not give enough time for everybody, and I definitely do not like rushing people.

These classes are supposed to give a lot of space and freedom for interpreting subject in a very personal way. We have created wonderful paintings before, and they never looked the same. Every student had used their own view on things, and that is pretty much how art should be: originating in the artist, not in a photo which gets copied onto a paper or canvas. I would love that every class is experience and process and less an attempt to stick to perfection because when we do not get everything perfect we are upset. I encourage everybody to play with shapes, contrasts, colors and try finding the ones that make sense for that particular student personally. We are all similar and very different at the same time: why would we try to create copies of each others work?

We will have new fall art class: a  daytime watercolor and sketching class which will focus on pleasure and excitement that only colors and good mood can provide us with. I was told quite frequently that not everybody can attend the late afternoon class, so, here you go: meditate, relax and enjoy doing these watercolor studies that are suitable for absolutely everybody as long as they are willing to try some brushstrokes. This class does not require a lot of materials, and we will do exactly that: we will get lost in artistic freedom to create whatever we feel like at that moment. I have a pretty good idea how well this will work out, so, it should be a fantastic class if you are looking for a great pastime and if you feel you need to decrease your stresses and forget about problems.

Fall art classes: late afternoon watercolor and acrylic painting class will continue the good tradition of this studio: enjoy the process and learn in a relaxing environment. I have thought about new subjects which will be very suitable for exploration and studies, and I will try to gear students’ attention towards the use of tips and tricks, many different techniques and ways of paint application, as well as watercolorists will get a boost with their drawing skill.

When I am traveling from place to place, there is rarely time to sit down and quietly paint or sketch. As you know, I want my subject to be in front of me, whether that is a still life apple or some flower, or a scene. I quite honestly cannot stand repainting photos, so, I am very happy every time when there is a chance to get something on paper. It’s not much. My subjects had wilted and gotten bad while I was away, but still: that is at least an exercise. I did not have a desk or decent table, and I had to balance everything on my lap or stretch a bit in order to reach to water or paint which is a fun of some sort.

Some sketch and 2 watercolor paintings, that’s all I got done so far while traveling

Rowan berries or ash berries, as well as some sunflower and apples, we will try some nature scenes with still life elements in our fall art classes, too.

Quick sketch: inspiration for fall art classes

 

This really says: fall

 

 

 

I have noticed: if I cannot paint or draw for a longer time, I feel like I am missing something a lot. I hope you have nice plans for your fall season, as well!

Illustration or sketch: one, two, three: ready! How to start sketching

Illustration or sketch can be simplified in order to get it done outdoors or to complete indoors because sometimes the weather can be quite bothersome and not cooperating with our intentions.

I have had a chance to watch numerous people when they first learn painting or drawing.

I would love to share some observations because they might inspire somebody to just get a pencil, a brush and paper and go ahead.

Do we need rules in art?

It might sound strange, but most people believe there are many strict rules when we draw or paint. Maybe the instruction on some sites makes one feel that if you do not follow these rules you cannot paint or draw. That is not true. That is actually completely wrong.

While there are lots of tricks, shortcuts and favorite ways to get things done faster and better, one should not try to stick to something which we call strict rules. Not with creativity. Not in art.

That would mean the small kid who does not have an idea of rules and instructions should not be able to draw. But the small kid is able to draw. Every kid is able to draw and paint.

As people grow up they find out that life wants us to comply with requirements, regulations, rules and certain instructions. It’s no surprise they want to apply rules to everything what we do. I know artists who would call the way of paint application a rule, or the way of drawing something on paper a rule.

No rules, just do your best!

I would love to encourage these who want to try art, to just go with their intention.

I hear quite frequently: I don’t know anything about painting or drawing. Well, you don’t have to. You just have to start trusting your eyes and trying to draw or paint whatever you intend to.

What to use for watercolor sketching?

Everything you can afford or like. If you do not know whether you will continue or not, why would you buy $75 watercolor brush? We always use the largest watercolor brush that still allows achieving what we want. It’s pretty much common sense. You could survive with just one number 10 watercolor brush if it has a good fine tip. 20-brush sets from Dollarstore won’t do anything, don’t go for these.

If you are applying wet paint on your sketch, traditional sketching paper won’t allow that. It is too thin. That’s pretty much common sense, as well; it could tolerate dry pencil or some pen, but not washes, especially repeated washes or paint lifting.

I would advise to always use watercolor paper for drawing, sketch, illustration, practise, color or flow practise because that is thicker and can be made wet.

If you are a beginner, you can live with just beginner’s watercolor paint set.

You can do illustration or sketch any way you like

If you are afraid to draw right away with pen, do the initial drawing in pencil and go over with pen afterwards. Keep the best lines and erase everything else, and here you have a nice, clean, attractive drawing. Why to use pen? It is simply easier. Pen makes the outline clearly visible, all image looks finished and elaborated even when the drawing is far from perfect and watercolor washes will bring your artistic attempt to life.

There is no wrong or right way to sketch, to draw or to paint

All artists develop their own style over time. Should you expect the first attempts to be perfect? No, don’t do that. Always tell yourself: Let us see what happens. Treat all of your first year’s art as a practise, as an experiment. Some will be god, some will fly into the waste basket, and that is absolutely fine.

People call everything which did not come out perfect: a mistake. That does not always apply to art either.

Some artistic mistakes and flaws can become the foundation of your personal style. Some experiments can set the tone for anything you do in the future. Therefore: experiment, experiment and experiment!

I am attaching some works from previous sketching session.

Illustration or sketch can be carried out in any style you prefer

Illustration can be done easily.  I am advising to use pen just for simplicity and speed. It really helps. I also love the accomplished look of such sketches which can be definitely used as completely finished art on the wall or for any other purpose.

Illustration example: pen outline

First we draw with pencil the main lines. We draw lightly without using pressure. After that we repeat the best lines in pen.

Illustration: first washes applied over pen lines

Choose whatever colors you love and would want in your sketch. Activate with water. Test on testing paper how transparent the watered down mix is. Apply small amount of water onto the main image area. You can use spray bottle if it creates mist. Check against light: if the shine is about to disappear, that’s the best time for first washes.

Illustration is ready: more washes or less diluted paint, and we are done.

If you allow first layers to dry and then make your paper wet again, nothing will happen to the dried out first layers. It is safe to go over with water. Don’t rub or scratch with the brush; that will definitely take some paint of.

Corrections are done with paper towel when the painting is wet: pressing paper towel onto paper will take off most of wet paint. When the paper is completely dry, apply washes and use damp brush or paper towel to lift color or paint you don’t want. Repeat until you like it.

The thicker the watercolor paper, the more things you can do with it.

Cheap watercolor paper is for tests and some practice only. It is simply too thin to do something more.

You can choose any pen you can afford or like. Your pen can be different color, too. Black simply fits any other color and makes it stand out more.

Large sketch using much wider pen

All watercolor illustrations and sketches look great. If you want them to be better: practice more and don’t expect immediate perfection.