Artisans Gallery

Tips - What to Paint?

Three Tips to Help You Decide what to Paint

It is time to paint! You have purchased all of your painting supplies which may include a basic palette of paint colors, a mixing tablet, a canvas, some brushes, mediums to change your paint's consistency, and rags. You are now sitting at your easel ready to paint. But what is next? You may have no idea what to paint or to many ideas to narrow down which to paint first! This dilemma can leave you frozen in fear. However daunting this frightful feeling can be, if you follow the three tips below to help you decide what to paint - you will never freeze up again!

Artisans Gallery - Three Color Blocks

Tip 1. View Several Subjects Utilizing Differing Perspectives

Take a deep breath, you are in no rush to begin your piece of art. This process should be fun and not overwhelming. So, stop and look around at the world and take note of which images excite your eyes or tug on your heartstrings. Your goal is to paint an image that comes from your soul. It is extremely important to view your possible subject from several differing perspectives and angels. The sky's the limit when it comes to picking a potential subject. You can paint the landscape of your garden, a piece of your favorite interior decor, a bowl of fruit or vase of flowers. There are no rules, but it is paramount that you choose a subject that you are truly interested in. Think about what has drawn you to this subject, was it the colors or the way the light dances across its surface? Be conscious of what has made you passionate about this particular subject! Expressing emotion and passion within your painting process will help you to create a more powerful painting.

Tip 2. Utilize Your Camera or a Viewfinder

Peering through your camera’s eyeline can help isolate interesting subjects to help you determine your painting size/shape and overall formated composition. If you do not own a camera, you can cut a frame out of a thick piece of paper to peer through instead. Do not be afraid to flip the frame around and allow yourself to view your potential subject through separate perspectives. If you do not own a camera or a thick piece of paper then you can make a smaller frame with your hands connected the two using L shaped fingers.

In addition to these makeshift frames, there are also viewfinders manufactured with grid lines for this exact purpose. Not to mention, the Da Vinci artist viewfinder helps you to transpose your subject into a two dimensional image. The Color Wheel Company has also created an extremely useful tool known as the ViewCatcher. A ViewCatcher has the ability to allow you to alternate the dimensions of your viewing frame so you can isolate and identify your subject with ease. In order to easily identify the colors of your subjects it is best to utilize a gray, white or black frame.

Tip 3. Examine Your Subject Diligently

Now that you have decided what you would like to paint, it is time to spend an hour or so studying and examining your subject. Look at your subject deeply and explore its details! Do not forget to observe the subjects negative spaces. It also helps to close one of your eyes to view your subject in two dimensions which is helpful when it comes time to paint on a flat surface. Looking at your subject is just as paramount as looking at your painting. The best paintings are produced through deep connections of artist to subject where the core essence of the image can be truly captured.

However, from time to time you will lose inspiration. Do not let this discourage you. It happens to everyone. The key is to not give up. Instead get up and take a look around the world again with a sketchbook in hand. You will be surprised at how simply viewing a fresh color scheme can revitalise your energy and have you re-inspired again in no time.