Be Honest with Yourself

When it comes to style, or subject matter, you need to ask yourself: Do I do this because I choose to do it, or because I don’t know how to do it any other way? If you choose to do it, hopefully you have a good reason. But if you do it because you don’t know how to do it any other way, then there’s room for growth.

Do you paint still life because you’re not good at portraits and figures? Do you paint loose because you don’t know how to paint tight? Do you paint abstract because you haven’t taken the time to get traditional training?

Or do you know how to paint a tight portrait, but you just enjoy painting a loose, abstract still-life? If so, you have nothing to worry about. Keep doing what you enjoy.

If you haven’t taken the time to expand your skills, then stop limiting yourself! “I’m just not good at it” is just a copout. To truly reach your potential, you need to be honest with yourself. Identify your weaknesses and grow.

Be honest with yourself. Do you wish you could paint a beautiful portrait? Do you wish you could paint photorealistic when you choose to? Nobody is made to paint a certain way. We all make that choice, whether it’s because of laziness or because you actually prefer it over the other options. If you’ve gotten good at portraiture and you decide to paint still life, then great! Being good at portraiture will only make you better at still life. If you can paint photorealistic but prefer to paint loose, then great! The ability to paint photorealism improves your ability to paint loose. The point is, don’t settle. Don’t be afraid to raise the bar and try new things. Cross training only makes you better at what you ultimately decide to do.


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