Learning to Paint by Anita Hampton


Natural Talent

Learning to paint is like most any other endeavor you want to take on. Of course, it makes it easier if you have a natural drawing talent or are good at putting colors together. These assets may help you, but they alone do not create good art.

Practice and Formal Training

While learning to paint, remember this: more than anything else, producing good art takes hands-on practice. You don’t need to go to art school to become a great painter. There have been master painters throughout the history of art that were “self-taught.” The benefits of professional training is that it shortens the learning curve. Art studies under good instructors expose you to painting practices you may or may not consider or stumble upon on your own.

Learning to Paint on a Budget

I was not trained formally. In some respects, that may have been to my advantage. As an alternative, I visited my local library and checked out every good how-to-paint art book I could get my hands on. Much went over my head, but I kept at it until I understood every word. During my studies, I kept on painting on a tight budget while raising a young family.

Find other budget-friendly painting tips in my video on saving money on paintbrushes.

Passion is a Driving Force

My passion and love of art developed very early in my life. I was too young and naive to know anything about passion, what it was, or what to do with it. I was raised in a farming community where families were lucky to have a print hanging from the wall. All the signs were there waiting for me to be a painter. My favorite classes in school were art classes. Teachers would ask me to help draw displays in grammar school and high school. I would get flattering comments from classmates. Through osmosis, all these things were subconsciously building my creative confidence and passion for art.

Painting is Exhilarating and Hard Work

My professional art career started with portrait painting. Since portrait commissions are hard to come by on the West Coast, I set my sites on Plein air landscape painting. Plein air painting is a whole lot different from studio painting. I found myself learning how to paint all over again. Back to the library I went. I checked out every instruction book on landscape painting I could get my hands on. Many days I came home exhausted with my head down and my tail between my legs, thinking I will never paint again. As soon as the next day arrived, I couldn’t wait to try it again. Painting outdoors is hard work and incredibly exhilarating at the same time.

Finding and Practicing Your Passion

Passion does not knock on your door. You find it for yourself by looking at various signs. These signs come in the form of comments, compliments, and hidden desires deep within you. Sometimes they come straight from your mouth with bursts of, “Oh, that looks like so much fun and I wish I could do that.” You can. Listen to your wish list and your heart, and remember, you don’t need talent to make good art, just passion. Passion will find your way.

If you are looking for some drawing tips, be sure to explore my Tips & Tricks video on drawing basics.

If you have questions or blogworthy topics you’d like me to explore, please comment below or send me an email!

1 Comment
  • M Taylor

    Thank you Anita, this is a very helpful post.

    I’d love to see you blog more about “building creative confidence.”

    February 23, 2021at5:35 pm

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