10 Mistakes to Avoid When Painting

1. Using the Same Brush Strokes

This is not exactly the cardinal sin of painting, but the lack of variety will make a painting look dull. A multicolored artwork might look interesting enough to a normal viewer, but an art expert or professional definitely cannot be easily enchanted by just the colors.

2. Disproportionate Canvas Layout

The whole canvas makes up a story, so you simply cannot afford to pay special attention only on one part of it while neglecting the rest. There is perspective and object placement, and then there is laziness. It is easy to see which category an artist belongs to by looking at his or her artwork.

3. Last Minute Color Adjustment

Mixing colors on the canvas itself can be very ugly if not managed expertly. To avoid this mistake while painting, you should decide on the color palette to use and prepare it in advance.

4. Ignoring Your Subject Details

Details here refer not to the complexity of your subject, but rather you own knowledge of it. How can you paint a chair if you have absolutely no idea how a chair looks like?

5. Assuming You Know Your Subject

Never assume. Always do your research using real life materials as often as you can. A good practice would be not to simply rely on your memory, but to paint what you are currently observing. Refer back to #4.

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6. Inappropriate Amount of Detailing

While this painting mistake can occasionally be excused as an artist’s personal style, the truth remains that a busy artwork will end up looking cheap, while an overly simplistic artwork could end up giving an impression of a lazy artist at work. If you want to paint in a simple and clean style, remember to balance it with enough details so that the viewers know that you care for your masterpieces.

7. Listening To Praises

While there is nothing wrong with modestly accepting praises that you really deserve, be careful not to let it get to your head. If possible, do not let anyone praise your work while it is still ongoing, because it might change the way you approach your work.

Just because your regular color palette is wildly admired worldwide, it does not mean that you should stick with the same palette for your next project.

8. Listening to Criticisms

Not, this point does not contradict #7. You are your own worst critics, so you really do not have to care what other people thinks. Just listen to your heart. Unless the criticisms come from an impartial and reasonable source like an art instructor, or if you have an unhealthy and overly positive opinion about your works, ignore it.

9. Copying Someone Else’s Style

While this is perfectly fine for a beginner or students who are learning a specific art technique, it really does not make any sense to try to paint like other people and later claim that is your original style. Everyone has, or will eventually have, their personalized approach to painting, so stick with yours.

10. Painting Something That You Hate

While you definitely should go out of your comfort zone and practice drawing and painting new subjects once in a while, your feelings and purpose for making art matters. If you are willing to undertake a subject you passionately hate just for the financial gain, maybe it is time to reevaluate your stand and personal values as an artist.

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