Artists learn many different techniques to bring their paintings to life. From the choice of medium to the subject matter, they have many options for creating a work of art that expresses their inner thoughts and feelings.
It can be challenging for artists of all kinds to translate a spark of inspiration into a finished work. Hamid Kamyab, a painter, based in London, England, goes over the process of taking an idea and transforming it into a finished painting.
Searching for Inspiration
There is nothing more frustrating than preparing all of your painting materials and staring at the blank canvas with no idea how to proceed. Artists everywhere are familiar with this feeling.
Before you arrive at your painting studio, take the time to visit inspiring locations. Many artists find that being by the water is calming and brings them a new perspective on their art. If you have a local beach or shoreline, try spending time there to calm your mind.
If you live where you can easily get to a park or natural area, this is another rich source of inspiration. Various types of trees and plants have the potential to show off painting techniques concerned with color and light.
Visiting museums is another excellent idea for artists who need inspiration. Depending on the gallery, you may be allowed to take photos, or you may bring your sketchbook with you to record the ideas you want to keep.
One point of caution goes along with visiting museums or galleries for inspiration. Be careful how you feel while you look at other artists’ work: you may bring up long-held feelings of inadequacy and feel that your work is “no good” compared to the artists you are viewing.
It is also a good idea to avoid using someone else’s work as the sole inspiration for your project. Bring in thoughts from your own life rather than focusing on emulating another artist’s style.
Other Creative Pursuits
If you are dedicated to painting, it is a good idea to branch out and take part in other creative activities to keep your ideas fresh. Reading books and talking with friends about various concepts can help you turn your ideas into reality.
Keep Inspirations Close to You
Before you start your painting, spend time coordinating your inspirations. It is a good idea to keep a sketchbook or folder on your computer with all of your stylistic and artistic inspirations. This can include photos, drawings, other people’s works of art, and written words that convey the feelings you wish to express.
It is wise to make a practice of collecting reference photos. Reference photos can give you an important guide to the subject and composition methods. They can inspire you to create a work with a certain color palette or lighting style.
If you fail to record your ideas, they will likely fade from your memory. Keep sketch and photo journals close to you so that you can add your thoughts whenever possible.
Create an Inspiring Atmosphere
As much as possible, keep your studio area clean and uncluttered. If your eye is constantly drawn away from your work, you will have a more difficult time concentrating. Make sure that the space is well-lit and stocked with all of the painting necessities that you may need. Keep distractions like pets and children away as much as possible.
Many artists play inspiring music while they are working on paintings. Choose the type of music that speaks to you but will not demand your complete attention.
Let Your Idea Incubate
Before you start your painting based on these inspirations, Hamid Kamyab believes that it is a good idea to let them incubate in your mind for a while. If you want to get something down in a hurry, put it in your sketchbook. This way, you will avoid being frustrated when you get partway through your work and your idea is not far enough developed to finish the painting.
Draw Up the Process
While you are considering your idea, think about how you would turn it into a painting. Think about the process that you will undergo to set up the various aspects of the composition. For example, if you are working in oils or acrylics, you may want to think about the layers of the painting as they will build upon the canvas.
You will likely want to do studies to discover how you will express your idea. Doing a sample painting that uses the techniques you are planning for your larger-scale work will save you time and let you find out whether you have a good idea or something that needs more work before you start.
Understanding the Creative Process
Having a good grasp of how your creative process works can help to guide you through the steps of becoming inspired and creating a new work of art. Hamid Kamyab reminds artists of all experience levels that they have something new and different to contribute to the world through their art.