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Artists: Is it worth the time and hassle to document your process ?

Artists: Should you document your process and take pictures?
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Artists: Is it worth the time and hassle to document your process ?

It is a very nice feeling when it happens, when we get so much absorbed into painting that time flies and we get into the “zone”. Then taking out the camera or writing notes in the middle of creating can seem like a hassle.

You might also be interested in: Taking good pictures of your paintings

It is sometimes, but it is also very beneficial for you and your career. Here is why:

You are documenting your process and and can get back to it in the future

Right after you have done your painting, everything is still fresh in your memory, but it might not be a few months later. If you document your painting process by taking pictures and/or taking notes, it will be way easier to remember exactly what you did, what paint you used, etc…

taking pictures will help you remember your process

Taking pictures will help you remember your process

If you want more details you can also print a few forms to fill out with each painting. This is a good idea especially if you are working with watercolor, so you can remember details like the paper type, names of colors, etc…

You can download a free template for a form on the Artist Network website, it is part of the free extras that are offered with my book “Fearless watercolor for beginners”

You get better at taking pictures

As with everything, the more you practice, the better you get at it. If you start taking pictures every time you paint, you will see an improvement in your pictures quality.

get better at taking pictures

I am a Blick Art Materials affiliate and I receive a small compensation for sales. That does not effect in any way the cost of the purchaser’s order but it helps me keeping the content of this blog free.


Derwent Watercolor Pencils

These professional-quality, water-soluble pencils offer the freedom to switch from drawing to painting in an instant, with no change in tools. Use them to shade on dry paper, then quickly wash over with brush and water to get a blending effect. – Watercolor Pencil Sets

You are gathering material to post on social media

Posting a few times a week on Facebook or Instagram can really help with getting exposure for your Art. If you get into the habit of taking pictures every time you paint, you already have material for your social media posts.

You can use your pictures to make slideshows

Once you have a library of pictures, you can make slideshows easily on Facebook:

Exemple of a slideshow on Facebook

You can also document your process by taking videos for a YouTube channel if you have one. This is one of the most viewed videos on my YouTube channel:

You can use your pictures to write a blog

I recently wrote a post explaining how writing a blog could be beneficial for your Art career, you can read it here: Should you write a blog?

It is easier to write posts if you already have a library of pictures you can use. Also, if you want to share your process, a picture is worth a thousand words. Taking good pictures of your process will make writing tutorials a breeze.

write an art blog to sell your art online

good pictures are making writing tutorials and explaining what you do very easy

You have material ready if you need to publish a demo or an article

If you get asked to provide materials for a tutorial or a demo, you are a few steps ahead if you already have pictures you can use.

Terra Incognita: Bonus Demo on the Artist Network

Here are two demos that were published by the Artist Network as a bonus of a feature in Acrylic Artist magazine.
Terra Incognita: Bonus Demo on the Artist Network

take good pictures to get your art published

Slice of Life: Louise Bonus demo on the Artist Network

You don’t necessarily need to invest in all the fancy materials right away

As I am taking lots of pictures, I did invest in a good camera and two lights as well as a macro lens.

The macro lens is really useful for close ups.

a macro lens will help you make good close up pictures

A macro lens is helpful for close ups

But to start, you don’t need to purchase all the equipment. I still very often take pictures or shoot videos with just my iphone, and some of them turn out really well:

This picture was taken with my iphone

This picture was taken with my iphone

This video was shot with my iphone time-lapse function.

 Are you taking pictures or notes when painting? Do you find it useful?

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