Over the last few years I have been teaching people that in order to learn how to paint there are basically two keys:
Key 1 - Fundamentals
Key number one is that there are certain fundamentals of good painting that you need to learn. These include composition & design, values, colour, brushwork, edges and so on.
There is no way around learning and mastering these basic skills. Without them you will remain lost and see little improvement in your painting.
This is why so many beginners fail to make progress when all they do is follow a few YouTube channels that attempt to teach painting. Most of them don’t teach fundamental skills like those listed above so there is little chance of improvement.
Key 2 - Practise
There is also no escaping key number two which is to practise what you learn through key one. You need to practise on a consistent regular and on-going basis.
Often more experienced artists talk about brush miles. You need to paint a lot so that your brush miles accumulate. This is true as long as you are painting a lot with a solid understanding of the fundamentals.
One of my favourite artists Kevin Macpherson suggests we need to do one thousand paintings to get good. If you did a painting a day over three years you would pass this one thousand paintings mark and would become a very good artist.
Regular painting practise is more important than a lot of painting once a month. You are better to do twenty minutes a day than ten hours on the last Sunday of the month.
At the Learn To Paint Academy we have structured our learning program around these two keys.
We have developed 35+ painting courses that focus on helping you learn the fundamentals of good painting, and more than 150+ painting projects so you always have something to practise.
However there is a third key which I have come to understand recently that is essential to becoming a good painter.
It is something that I was unaware of for many years.
Fortunately I have the benefit of being able to observe how students go about learning to paint, and why some stop, and others go on to becoming working artists. Having worked with hundreds of artists in one day workshops, and more than 70,000 students now online, one thing has become obvious to me.
The third key to learning how to paint is Community!
This became evident to me in April 2020 as the world plunged into the depths of the Pandemic.
By late March lots of people, myself included, had become caught up in fear and uncertainty with global events. The on-going news media coverage, and social media was fixated on the rapidly spreading virus.
I decided we needed to do something to shift our focus back to a more positive outlook.
So in April we set about doing a live stream a day painting challenge.
And what became obvious a few days into the challenge was how much people appreciated the community that was built up around the live streams. There was a synergy amongst our members who joined us each day for the next painting. Many painted along, others watched and tried the painting later on.
The value of the community of our members in the Learn To Paint Academy became obvious.
It caught my attention and so I started to focus on it more.
Here is what I discovered about the importance of Community for those of us on the journey with learning to paint:
- Learning to paint can be a lonely solo journey. A lot of us will feel a sense of isolation when we try and do it on our own.
- You have heard of the saying birds of a feather flock together? It’s true, we naturally want to surround ourselves with like minded friends.
- Being part of an active community of artists can motivate you to have a go and keep painting.
- We get to see the progress others are making and it can be inspirational.
- We want to take part in group challenges and as we see others having a go at the paintings we want to join in.
- Seeing the work of others can trigger ideas for our own paintings.
- We can get feedback from others within the community on our paintings.
- We make new arty friends.
- We are more likely to have a go at the painting assignments from live streams, or challenges when we see others having a go.
- Regular contact with the community inspires us to paint more frequently
- We get to learn tips, ideas, suggestions from other members of the community
Of course there are many more benefits to learning to paint as part of a community as opposed to going it alone.
Late last year I made a decision to rebuild our Members area for the Learn To Paint Academy.
Understanding how important the right community is to our members I decided to build a new members area in which they could not only access our 35+ painting courses and 150+ painting projects, but they could do so within a community environment.
The new Learn To Paint Academy members site is now heavily focused on community.
There is a general activity stream where you get to see what other members are working on, their finished work, and assignments they are doing from the courses and challenges.
We have then built specific groups to organised members. Groups focused on things like Fundamentals, analysis of master artists, video critiques of members work, monthly challenges and so much more.
These groups help organise the community and the content being posted by community members.
And we have recently started live streaming into the new community site as well.
We run regular live streams. Some are accessible to all members including free members, and others for our paid members that go into more details.
As I said earlier, I had underestimated the value of community when learning to paint.
Now it is obvious that for many people learning to paint the community is the thing that keeps them engaged, encouraged and motivated to continue.
We would love you to join our community of inspired artists.
You can get started with a free account at the Learn To Paint Academy (or upgrade your account for greater access).
Get all the details here - http://LearnToPaint.academy/join
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