Learning something new can be an incredible rush.
Like, overwhelming and a tad bit chaotic. The world of watercolors is a vast space full of possibilities and endless learning. My role allows me to help students begin and continue that artistic journey, adding many different techniques to the artist's universe.
So many of my students who joined my artistic retreat were complete beginners.
Some have said…
…I'm staring at an empty page, with no idea of what to paint.
…I'm worried about ruining my work.
…I'm not good at brush strokes and learning new techniques.
…I just don't know where to start.
I'm familiar with the mindset of a beginner. There's excitement and ambition, for sure. But there are also elements of anxiety and fear.
Beginners often hold limiting beliefs that keep them from advancing beyond the first stages of their journey. My courses are designed to help nudge students forward, into territory that grows them as artists.
Along the way, there might be places where students stall. If you're one of those students who feel stuck at the starting line, have courage. Here are four different ways to push yourself out into a more advanced skill set.
#1 Challenge Yourself
If you keep with the same tricks and techniques of beginners, you may not move forward in your journey.
It's tempting to go with what feels comfortable, but you will not reach a more advanced level unless you take a few plunges along the way.
To keep that learning momentum going, do something new that's outside your current comfort level.
Try a technique that may initially scare you just a little bit. If you take the time to practice and understand, you can master just about anything.
#2 Develop Confidence
As a beginner, you might not feel ready to call yourself an artist. You may feel that only people who make money from art can call themselves artists, or that you have to be at a certain skill level before you can feel good about saying you are an artist. Lay that limiting belief DOWN.
If you love art and use your creative energy to create things, you are an artist! Own that label. As you embark on this journey into artistic expression, you will practice and develop many different skills.
You don't have to be totally perfect at everything you try before you make it to the next step.
Trust yourself that you will get better with time, and try doing something you have already learned with confidence that you have already mastered it.
#3 Break Away from Monotony
If you're in a holding pattern watching the same videos and doing the same pictures, take a breath and pause. It's possible that your journey into watercolors has turned into running in a circle.
There are a few different reasons you might not feel like you can move on to other things. Maybe you think you don't have time to try something new. Maybe you feel you're not done learning things at the starting line.
Whatever your beliefs, there's something powerful about trying something new at every stage of the journey.
There is no tried and true straight line into the mastery of watercolors. Every student learns different things at different stages and they can all benefit from breaking free of patterns. So if you're in a slump doing the same things over and over, break free and try something entirely new.
#4 Follow Your Heart
If your dream is to complete a certain image you have in your head, then follow that dream.
The point of watercolors and artistic expression is to release your creative self and have fun in the process. If your heart is telling you to take a certain path, then go for it. Your mission is to create for yourself first.
Don't worry about what other people may think or believe, and don't worry about whether or not you're “good enough.”
Your heart to create beauty is good enough. And the wonderful thing about art is that when you seek to express yourself and never stop learning, you'll find you can make things that you're proud to share with others.
Accept the Challenge, Try Ocean Blues!
For those watercolor artists who want to take the next steps in their journey, I have a great course available to you!
Ocean Blues offers four unique watercolor images each made with techniques that push the beginner into more advanced territory.
Set sail on the high seas and create finished art that breathes with realism and depth, all the while painting with a community that surrounds you with encouragement and support.
You can complete Ocean Blues at your own pace at any time, and my course will allow you to create pieces you can be proud to share.
Enroll in Ocean Blues and push yourself beyond the beginner level to continue on your journey at last.
Comment below what your beginner mindset is/was.