Monday, 9 May 2011

Art tip of the week - getting over your nerves

You are thinking what on earth is she going to talk about today? For some an initial problem that is quite common is getting over the fear of putting tone down on a piece of paper - literally getting started! I used to teach life drawing a few long years ago now and I discovered one or two tricks for getting people started. 
The first is if you find facing that big expanse of white paper just too much, why not change it to another colour, something that is more a mid-tone, like a grey or maybe fawn colour. Then all your need to do is use the paper for all your mid tones and work with charcoal or very soft pencil for your dark tones and a white soft pencil or artist’s chalk for the light tones. I found it really freed people up and they felt less anxious about knowing where to start.
My second tip is a little more, well - surprising. If you find you tend to work very hesitantly and tightly with a pencil, here’s a trick one of my old art tutors taught me.  Her name was Avis and she has her work in the Tate Britain. Anyway her trick was to give us all a fine stick, yes I did say “stick”. Fill a plastic cup with water and black paint - don’t make it too watery though, nice and thick. Next you basically dip the stick in the paint and draw with it. At the very least, it is great fun and more importantly it will certainly make you less hesitant