Saturday, March 30

You Shouldn't Try to Paint Like Anyone Else

Who Paints Like This?
Here's the thing. I know you like to paint. You like to paint because you saw a painting you liked in a museum or a gallery or a book.

And you wanted to paint a painting that looked like the painting you liked. So you looked up the artist who painted the painting. You researched the works of the artist, and you searched on the internet, and you bought books about the artist's work and his or her technique. You watched YouTube videos about that artist or videos by other artitsts about that artist. You bought DVDs by the artist and watched him or her paint.

You bought the same tools as the artist: the same palette, the same brushes (especially if he or she endorsed them), the same paper or canvas or hardboard. You bought not only the same brand of paint the artist used but also all the same colors in his or her color palette.

Someone is making money on this.

A known contemporary painter, who shall remain nameless, uses a color palette that is similar to one of the many you have tried. Of course, they're all pretty similar when you get right down to it--variations of reds, yellows, and blues plus a few secondary greens or violets along with an umber or sienna or two.

Anyway, you try out this color palette. It includes pthalo blue. You have never used pthalo blue, but you try it once, twice, three times all with the same miserable result. You and pthalo blue are not meant to be.

This doesn't mean you're not a good artist and painter because you can't paint with someone else's color palette, which most certainly evolved over their career.

It does mean you have a unique background and knowledge you bring to your work that no one else has. You have experience mixing colors and putting down brushstrokes that no one else has.

 Here's the thing. You cannot paint like anyone else nor should you try.


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