Productivity,  Thoughts

How To Take Up Art As A Hobby

My Grandparents were coal miners, that’s where I first learned about art. It was from both of them, and the paintings hung their home. I tell you this because, when talking about art, images come to mind.

Some think of their favorite artwork, others think of it as a expensive prospect. The truth is, art is defined as the application of creative skill and imagination, typically in a visual form such as painting or sculpture. Stated simply, art is the skill of creating a picture.

Everything from your child’s play dough elephant to the Empire State Building is art. All walks of life draw, build, and create art. I’ve seen everything from simple pottery and benches with painted figures, to large murals.

I would suggest choosing the medium that suits you. For me, this has expanded, but it started primarily with a desire to draw and paint. I had drawn for years, but my sketching really developed for the purpose of painting.

I was a Bob Ross kid, I loved watching him paint. In my late twenties I decided I would buy some acrylics and try it. I’ve found I don’t have the patience for oils. Oils are beautiful, but I don’t want to sit and wait for one layer to dry. Though the luminance of them is difficult to beat.

I love acrylics, not only for the speed, but for the vibrancy of the colors. However, acrylics still take time, preparation, and setup that I don’t always have time for. Acrylics are great if you have a dedicated space to setup and leave it setup, and can be as small as a corner or even an open area of a closet.

Ease of access, and lack of major prep led to a love of watercolor. All I need is my pan watercolors, brush, paper, and water. I will tell you, of all the mediums watercolor are the most challenging, but also the most portable. From traditional watercolor to the new styles, to line and wash, (ink and watercolor), the options are enormous.

By far the quickest and easiest option for me has been digital art. Right now I use ProCreate and my iPad Pro, but there are times I use ArtRage on my phone. Digital art has greatly enhanced my drawing and painting ability. I love the oil brush set of brushes I use on ProCreate, as it mimics oil but eliminates the wait time.

I also love to sketch with either a micron pen, mechanical pencil, or fountain pen. As a lefty, I grew up liking the look of a fountain pen, but sad because I couldn’t write with them. Lefties smear when writing, but you can sketch with one and avoid this. Plus, those times when smearing happens, you can use it for shading.

Another medium I enjoy is soft pastels. They’re messy, so I recommend using a pastel holder. Like acrylics, I don’t get to work with them often, but I love it when I get the opportunity. A pastel painting of an old car in a field hangs in our bathroom. It’s one of my wife’s favorites that I’ve ever painted.

Each of these were something I added over time, years in fact. You may find only one works for you, but each has different aspects. I enjoy different forms because it keeps me from feeling bored. Some will want to concentrate on one form to improve.

The primary thing is that any of these will help you improve your drawing ability. This, in my opinion, is still the most important skill to work on. It doesn’t mean you can’t be an artist if you’re not there yet, only that improving in this area will enhance your art over all.

I would suggest, to keep an open mind about your art. At first, it probably won’t turn out the way you expect, and that’s okay. It will take time, but each piece is a lesson, and a step forward. If you enjoy it, and it’s something constructive, what does it matter if it takes awhile?

There have been pieces that I filed in that little plastic box which holds coffee grounds and banana peels. Yet I enjoyed it while I was doing it, and I learned something for the next painting. Today I have some pieces I like, but I arrived at them through practice.

Why would anyone want to take up art? I can give you a long and true explanation, but basically it’s because you enjoy it. It relieves stress, it gives you a sense of accomplishment, and eventually gives you something to share with others.

Concerning sharing, when beginning, be careful who you share with. When getting started, you don’t need someone to tell you “it needs work”, you know that. We all need work in everything really. You need someone who will encourage you. Eventually constructive criticism is important, but not on day one and two.

The word hobby originally was tied to the name Robin. It also means a small falcon. A hobby helps lift your spirit, gives you a new perspective, and takes you places that you did not expect to go.

If you are looking for a hobby I would strongly recommend considering taking up art in some form. In addition to being fun, it can give you a fresh way of looking at life. An the art of a new perspective, is a beautiful hobby to have.

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