If you’re in the early stages of your journey with watercolors or gouache or calligraphy or any other medium, you probably want to improve your skills sooner rather than later. Why wouldn’t you want to be a better artist now, right?
Keep reading to find out more about improving your art skills FAST, or watch the video below.
Maybe you’re busy with kids and family and a career and you don’t have much free time for creativity.
OR, maybe you’re finally at a stage in life where you DO have time to explore your artistic side, and you don’t want to squander that time.
The number one tip for improving your skills fast when you’re just starting out is to learn from multiple artists.
This has helped me and thousands of our students improve our skills in an astonishingly short timeframe. Here’s why it works:
First, it’s kind of like going to college. When you go to college, you’re embarking on a new journey of learning, and you definitely don’t spend four years learning from just one professor, right?
Eventually you might find a professor whose subject matter and style resonate with you, and you might take even more classes from them, or maybe even have them be your advisor.
But when you’re just starting out, you’re getting exposed to lots of different ideas, and styles, and subjects, and it allows you to find your unique path.
I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s the same for art, even if you’re not learning at art school, and you’re taking courses online.
Every teacher has their own unique tips and tricks and methods that they’ve developed over time, and it’s really helpful to see how teachers are different — and how they’re similar.
For instance, one thing I learned from all of the artists in the Watercolor Summit®, our online painting program (see all the classes included here), is that there are at least THREE different ways to use your water jars!
Jenna Rainey uses two water jars, one for warm colors and one for cool. Sarah Simon and Louise De Masi both use just one water jar, and change it out when needed. And other artists like Sarah Cray use two water jars, one for clean water and one for rinsing out their brushes.
So that’s how those teachers are all different… However, almost universally, all of our instructors recommend 100% cotton watercolor paper for finished projects, and sometimes for practice.
So you can see how learning from different artists can help you quickly discover UNIQUE methods and tricks that work for you, AND help you uncover the common themes that reinforce best practices.
You can see this unfold in our free Watercolor Supply Guide: I took all of the recommended supplies of our watercolor instructors, from palettes, to paper, to brushes and paints, and compiled them all into one simple resource.
It’s really interesting to see where all the recommendations overlap, so check it out if you’re curious about supplies. Again, it’s totally free.
Another important reason for learning from multiple artists in the early stages of your creative journey is that you WANT to be exposed to lots of different styles and subjects.
First, it’s just plain fun to learn new things. But second, you could end up trying a new style or subject that you weren’t expecting to love, but you ended up really enjoying.
I hear this all the time from our students, who for example don’t expect to love the realistic style classes in the Watercolor Summit®, but end up really enjoying the process of slowing down and using watercolors in a more detailed way.
And on the flip side, some people don’t expect to love the splashy, colorful paintings, but they end up having a ton of fun creating them and they can’t wait to practice the style even more!
What I’ve found over the years is that learning from a bunch of talented artists and getting exposed to multiple styles up front is really important for your creative journey and for eventually developing your OWN unique style.