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:

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!