This is a pretty long post, but I think it's important.
I was at a book store last night. As I was browsing the small section of art books that they carry, I was struck by how many of the books had the word "secret" as part of the title, as if they had arcane knowledge to impart. Most of the time the "secrets" are the author's style imposed on standard drawing or painting techniques. While it's enjoyable to see the work and sometimes it's the only way to get a collection of the artist's work in print, when an art technique book has the word "secret" on the cover, more often than not, it's being used as a selling point.
The fact is that there are no special brushes, no special paints, no special inks. There are only different kinds of the above. The same goes for paper.
Each one requires different handling that, with patience, can be learned, if not mastered. Some might give bad results, good results or great results. I've seen beautiful works painted with materials that some creatives would deem only for students and beginners. The reverse is true, as well. Expensive paper and paints wasted on utter junk (then again, all art is in the eye of the beholder).
But the title of this post is "Art Secrets Revealed!" So here it is:
Are you ready?
Just start creating.
That is it.
Just start creating.
Grab some paper, find some paints, a pen point old or modern, some inks, paper. The materials can be cheap, expensive or somewhere in between. It doesn't matter. Experience will show you what you will need when creating.
Let me repeat that: Experience will show you what you will need when creating. You can read all the books on technique (and let's face it, they are fun to read), research all the materials, go on all the forums (proceed with caution, because while many forums are well meaning, they can also often be dogmatic and dogma is the enemy of creativity), until you have memorized it all. However, until you start to actually draw or paint, you are not creating. You are only reading. You may absorb by osmosis (it's possible), but you are not creating until you physically start to.
Once you start your own personality and style will eventually come through, despite your best efforts to emulate your favorite artist(s), although, sadly, this isn't always the case (and something I will address in another post). Techniques that you felt you would never want in your work will make an appearance and you will be happy that they have. It's that way once you start creating.
The important thing is Just Start Creating.
So that's it. The Art Secret.
You didn't even have to buy a book for that.
I must say that everything I've written about in this post is something that people told me, in one way or the other, especially my wife, bless her. I wished I'd listened to them, for it would have saved me years of frustration and wasted time. Reading the work of experts and "experts" was and is fun, but nothing beats actual experience when it comes to drawing and painting.
Let me know what you think.