Hi everyone, welcome back to Studio Llewellyn! Today’s post comes to you from my dining room table. I have a cup of tea on my left side, a plate of toast on my right, an easel in the corner and art supplies all over the floor. This is a normal part of my day – it’s art time!
As I mentioned in a previous post, I spend a portion of every day in my workspace. Usually, that means working on a piece that’s already underway, but these pieces often take several hours to complete and I’ll have two (or more) oil paintings on the go, so I don’t tend to work on them continuously from start to finish. These pieces also require a bit of planning, so some of my time is spent sketching out compositions for upcoming work, doing colour experiments to see what works (and doesn’t), or even going out to take photographs of some of the subjects that I know I’ll be including.
Aside from all this, though, I also make a point of producing some finished work every day. This is often in the form of a challenge that I will set myself. It might be challenging because of a time limit that I impose (say, 12 minutes, or 20), or because of rules that I’ll set (like ‘no erasers!’, ‘use less than 20 lines!’, or ‘3 colours only!’). Except without sounding like an evil art teacher.
The effect of doing this is that it not only improves my manual skill and is also super fun (although sometimes frustrating), but it also changes the way that I look at my ‘main’ pieces of work. Sometimes, I’ll overwork something that needs simple brushstrokes, so completing a challenge to produce work with minimal lines acts like a reset button. It helps me to spot these kinds of issues in the work that I intend to sell. It also boosts my creativity by forcing me to think outside the box, or find novel ways to solve a problem.
Needless to say, many of the outcomes of these ‘finished piece’ challenges don’t look all that appealing, but it’s part of a process of stretching and flexing my creative muscles, which ultimately makes me a better artist. I would highly recommend the practice of making art daily to anyone who considers themselves an artist, whether it’s in a private or professional capacity. We could all do with pushing ourselves out of our comfort zones. Usually we discover something great in the process.
If you’re interested in taking a peek inside my sketchbook at some of my daily art challenges, follow me on Instagram. You’ll also get to see progress pictures of my main pieces as they develop.
That’s all for today, guys. Stay awesome and keep making art!