When artists get stuck in a creative rut, the best way to break out of it is to find artistic inspiration. This article will cover some ways that experienced and novice painters can find new ideas for their drawings.
Artists can draw inspiration from many different sources, including other paintings and other creative projects. The key is to take the new ideas and work them into something original that’s entirely your own.
1. Look at the World Around You
Whether you’re looking for ideas to draw people or things, it can be helpful to take a step back and observe the world around you. Taking note of the colors, shapes, and textures can give you creative inspiration to draw something new. It can also help to identify things that could be improved in a painting, such as the use of hard or soft edges or balance between elements of a scene.
Spending time in art museums and galleries is a great way to get inspiration from other artists’ work. You can also look at different types of paintings and artifacts from different eras. Visiting museums and galleries can be a calming way to take a break from daily life and focus on creativity.
A great painting has a strong composition that draws the viewer in and makes them want to explore all aspects of the piece. This is achieved through the use of principles like the rule-of-thirds, leading lines, and balance. These rules can be learned by studying other paintings or through online resources and books.
For example, a great composition for a portrait can be found in the way that the subject is placed within the frame of the photograph or painting. Or, a landscape can be inspired by the way that different types of light fall on the scene. Another way to learn the rules of composition is by taking an art class.
Being an artist is a creative endeavor that requires lots of inspiration and practice. Developing your skills requires learning from other artists, taking drawing classes, and trying new things. It’s a good idea to find a mentor to help you improve professionally and develop your artistic interests.
2. Visit Art Museums and Galleries
Whether you’re an art history major or a novice, visiting art museums and galleries can be an inspiring place to find ideas. Take the time to examine each painting carefully. Notice details like brushstrokes, textures, colors and shapes. Think about the scene or subject of the work, and try to figure out what it is the artist was trying to convey.
Some people suggest setting a time limit on your museum visit (for example, one or two hours) so that you don’t feel rushed. Others recommend dividing the museum into sections or floors, and spending more time on works that particularly interest you.
Some art museums also offer audio tours, which can help pace your museum-going experience and help you focus on the pieces that really speak to you. You can also use websites like Art UK to enhance your gallery visit by researching artworks beforehand. The website allows you to search by venue, collection and much more. This will give you context for the paintings you encounter and could inspire future trips to other locations.
3. Take a Sketching Class
A good art course can provide the structure you need to make progress. Whether you’re an absolute beginner or are looking to sharpen your skills, there’s likely to be an online drawing course that fits your needs. This one by Eviston, for instance, offers a daily cadence of video lessons that help you develop essential drawing skills. Then, with carefully designed assignments, you can move on to the next skill, building a solid foundation for your practice.
A variety of other online courses teach everything from anatomy to perspective. This class, for example, is perfect for beginners as it takes an approach that assumes no previous knowledge of the subject. It covers the basics of drawing using a step-by-step process that can be applied to subjects of any kind. You can even learn how to draw a person, with detailed instruction that makes it possible to draw figures of any body type in any position.
If you’d prefer an in-person class, the 92nd Street Y in New York City hosts Botanical Sketching, a beginner-level class that helps you create realistic renditions of botanical plants. Or, ArtClassBklyn in Brooklyn holds a low-pressure class for students of all levels that introduces the fundamental building blocks of contour and gesture drawing, so you can go beyond stick figure drawings.
There’s also a class that helps you master the challenging concept of linear and atmospheric perspective. Then, you can apply this skill to a variety of landscape subjects, such as trees, water and rivers, mountains and buildings. Finally, there’s a class that explores the possibilities of still life painting. While this class tends to fill up quickly, spots can often open up as student plans change.
4. Learn a New Technique
There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to finding painting inspiration, but learning new techniques can help you discover new sources of creativity and improve your skills. Take a drawing class, learn how to create textures with paint or find a tutorial that helps you master color harmony. The key is to find a technique that excites you and pushes you outside your comfort zone.
Aesthetics is the ability to recognize and create beauty. This is an important skill for painters because it can help them create more interesting and unique art. It’s also useful for painters who work with clients, as it shows they have a strong attention to detail and are dedicated to their craft.
Effective color mixing is a vital skill for painters to have. It allows them to create their own colors rather than using paint straight out of the tube, which can save money and provide more variety in their work. Taking an online tutorial, watching a video or practicing on your own is a great way to learn this skill.
Brush strokes are a great way to add texture, depth and shadow to a painting. Developing this ability will make your paintings more realistic and appealing to clients. Practicing different types of brush strokes can also help you develop your own style and create more original art. Brush strokes can also help you create textures, movement and emotion in your paintings.
5. Try a New Medium
Artists are always finding new ways to express themselves. They’ve been doing it for centuries. In fact, it’s often hard to tell whether something is a painting or some other type of art. That’s because art doesn’t exist in a vacuum and artists draw inspiration from other forms of creative expression like music, dance, or writing.
If you’re struggling to find creative inspiration for your next painting, consider trying a new medium or technique. Using a different type of paint can help you think differently about color and composition. For example, if you usually use oil or acrylic paint, try creating a work in watercolors. Watercolors have a very different quality than other types of paint and can be more forgiving when it comes to mistakes. You can also experiment with different types of paper or canvas to see how that changes the way you create a piece of artwork.
Another great way to expand your artistic horizons is to study the works of other artists. This can be a great source of creative inspiration, especially if you study the techniques used by masters like Leonardo da Vinci, Claude Monet, or Pablo Picasso. You can even try to privately copy some of these works in order to understand how they achieve their artistic effect.
Another excellent way to get creative is to visit museums and galleries, and browse through art books. Sometimes, just the tangibility of a book can inspire you, especially if it’s beautifully bound and designed. For example, if you’re looking for a great book on the subject of painting, check out Nancy Reyner’s Perfect Color Mixing. You’ll learn all about the seven essential colors you need to create a variety of hues and get your creative juices flowing.