It’s normal to think you should only paint when you are really inspired by your subject.
Makes perfect sense. That’s when you’re bound to do your best work, right?
When you’re learning WHAT you paint is FAR less important than just actually getting down to it and PAINTING.
So feeling that you should wait for inspiration to strike can actually become a MAJOR block to you learning to paint.
As School member Bernie Bombardier emailed me:
“I was ready to remove all traces of art from my life due to my lack of ideas and how to go about finding them.”
So, how do you decide WHAT to paint?
When you’re learning to paint in this detailed, realistic style, what you need is a ready supply of subject matter that you don’t need to think too much about.
Whilst this could come from gathering your own supply of photographs, most people find the structure, and community, of some kind of regular class really helpful with this.
Whether it’s a local art class, or my online School, something that sets the subject for you is really helpful.
And the paradoxical part is, as soon as you START painting regularly, you somehow break through that block and open yourself up to inspiration so that you get FLOODED with ideas for what you’d like to paint next.
And don’t take my word for it. As Bernie put it in her generous email to me:
“I’ve been looking for subject matter to paint for a long time and after doing the first 5 tutorials, my mind is racing with subject matter. I am thrilled. You have given me back the springboard from which I can finally think about the future of what I want to paint. For this I cannot thank you enough. I was ready to remove all traces of art from my life due to my lack of ideas and how to go about finding them.”
So don’t get trapped into thinking you need to be inspired to paint. Actually you need to PAINT to be inspired.
Let me know in the comments below if this has been an issue for you, I’d LOVE to hear about it.