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5 ways to have fun painting

5 ways to enjoy the process of making art
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5 ways to have fun painting

Why is it important to have fun painting?

There is a myth about the artist’s life that involves an extravagant personality, lots of partying, working at random hours in the night and not working very hard. I believe this is very far from the truth and being successful as an artist involves a lot of hard work, consistency, persistence and organisation as well as many other skills. It is not easy and there can be pressure to be prolific and competitive especially if you are trying to make a living off your Art.

have fun when you are painting


Persistence is particularly important as it takes a very long time to master the skills you need to be satisfied with your own work. That is why it is important to have fun painting so making Art doesn’t become too frustrating.

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Here are a few tips to enjoy more the process of making Art:

1-Have fun painting!

This is maybe the most important idea. Try to focus on enjoying the process and not on the end result. The result is not always the main point of making Art. The point can be to spend a good time, expressing yourself or to learn something new. If you don’t like the result, at least you’ve learned what not to do the next time and this can be a very valuable lesson.

Remember that no Artist has a 100% success rate.

enjoy working on your art

2-Take your time

No one is born a genius Artist, and acquiring skills can take a very long time. You don’t want to spend this time suffering and torturing yourself with how bad an Artist you think you are. If you want to keep making Art in the long term you need to give yourself the time to improve. Painting is no different than anything else, like playing music or writing, you have to expect hard work and time investment to get the results you want.

3-Start over as many times as needed

You can restart the same project many times until you get it right. John Singer Sargent is a good example of that, he is well known to have re-worked his paintings many times over and over, by scraping off the paint with a painting knife and starting over, as much as 8 to 12 times for the same painting.

start over as many times as needed

Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose by John Singer Sargent (Source: Wikimedia)

This particular painting took two summers to finish and was restarted many times.

4-You are the only person you have to please

 Of course some type of Art will be more popular and easy to sell than other but no Artist makes an universal consensus. Anyways the appreciation of Art is very subjective and linked to education and culture. I see that clearly when I am traveling. Depending on the country, what is considered good taste or cutting edge is very different.

So it is a waste of time to try to make everyone like your Art. Your Art is probably speaking to a certain part of the population but there will always be people who don’t like it, so in the end you are the one who has to be pleased with what you do.

experiment with different styles to have fun making art

5-Experiment with different styles

I see very often beginner painters trying to paint in a very literal and realistic way and be discouraged by the results. I have nothing against realism but it might not be the easiest way to start because we all know intuitively what the result is supposed to look like. Any mistake, any error of perspective, any weird looking hand or face is very obvious. If you also experiment with other styles, taking a distance from realism, you might be less critical of the results.

Do you have any tips you want to share that makes you enjoy more the process of making Art?

Comments (18)

  1. Patty

    So much of what you said in what you shared I am coming to grips with right now as I work to re-ignight my art practice after decades of dormancy. I would offer these thoughts to the lust.

    Enjoy where you are in your art and let go of your own and other’s expectations for what it should be. I am finding more joy as I let my art journey flow and not put production expectations on myself. I hit less walls this way and can relax much easier as I work to gain more skill or design a piece.

    Recognize the importance art plays in your life. How I wish I had known this when I was a young adult. Back then it was considered a romantic idea to become an artist and impractical. I did not realize that the talent I have was a part of who I am so it was indeed important. Now I know it plays a major role in my life and can see how it was pretty much impossible for me to not be artistic.

    Give yourself credit for the little things along the way and be patient with yourself as you work to learn. Coming back to art this is an invaluable practice for me. If I am not having fun I am usually not doing one or both of these and celebrating little achievements I make and letting go gives joy a placeand flow freely again.

  2. Patty

    So much of what you said in what you shared I am coming to grips with right now as I work to re-ignight my art practice after decades of dormancy. I would offer these thoughts to the lust.

    Enjoy where you are in your art and let go of your own and other’s expectations for what it should be. I am finding more joy as I let my art journey flow and not put production expectations on myself. I hit less walls this way and can relax much easier as I work to gain more skill or design a piece.

    Recognize the importance art plays in your life. How I wish I had known this when I was a young adult. Back then it was considered a romantic idea to become an artist and impractical. I did not realize that the talent I have was a part of who I am so it was indeed important. Now I know it plays a major role in my life and can see how it was pretty much impossible for me to not be artistic.

    Give yourself credit for the little things along the way and be patient with yourself as you work to learn. Coming back to art this is an invaluable practice for me. If I am not having fun I am usually not doing one or both of these and celebrating little achievements I make and letting go gives joy a placeand flow freely again.

    1. Thanks Patty for sharing your thoughts, they are a positive encouragement to all artists to share 🙂

  3. Sandrine, thank you so much for your suggestions. If art isn’t fun, it becomes just another job. I think it is not only helpful to try different styles. It can be helpful to try different mediums and substrates. When things are not coming together as I expected, sometimes I walk away…perhaps sleep on it. I often see things differently with fresh eyes. And, it is important to have people you trust Who will gently offer advice and encouragement…community!

    Blessings to you,

    1. Thanks Jane! I totally agree with you about the importance of experimenting and the idea of looking at your work with fresh eyes:)

  4. Robin Gray

    Thanks for sharing all your thoughts, and especially the tidbit about John Singer Sargent. Hailing from the Boston area he has been one of my favorites for years. It is comforting to know that the gorgeous paintings he produced were the result of “do-overs”. It’s easy when seeing the results hanging in the Museum of Fine Arts, to think that Sargent never made a mistaken brush stroke. Better to know he (like me) hesitated, second-guessed, re-worked, and ended the journey of a painting after a few detours. Your blogs are a good source of comfort and inspiration for me.

    1. Thanks Robin, I am very happy to hear you enjoy reading the blog 🙂
      I think we all have different ways of painting and what works for one artist might not work for another one, so there is no right or wrong. Second guessing, and taking your time might just be what works the best for you 🙂

  5. Joan Saxhs

    Thanks so much for these pearls of wisdom!

  6. BARBARA

    I am very interested in your classes. I went to pay and realized that you charge in US dollars. I am Canadian as you are. i hate to pay the survice charge on my credit card. Do you have a place and a price that is payable in Canadian dollars.

    1. Hello Barbara, I could send you a Paypal invoice that you can pay with your credit card with the equivalent amount in Canadian dollars. If you would like to do that, just email me at sandrineprlissier@gmail.com with your email and the class you are interested in.

  7. Linda Dodson

    It’s good to be reminded of what I already knew but tended to forget in my everyday struggle to create something “worthy”. The little voice that tells me to give up is becoming less audible (or is that because I listened to too much loud music in my youth) and if I hear it I remind myself to ignore it. Thanks for your encouraging voice!

    1. Thanks Linda, I was having this discussion with a friend recently and we were thinking that this little annoying voice can’t really be shut down but just acknowledged when it happens and then ignored 🙂 Loud music can help with that:)

  8. Lyndsey

    Thanks for that. I found that really helpful x

    1. Thanks Lyndsey, I am glad you liked it 🙂

  9. I agree with all your suggestions, Sandrine. I also believe the first rule for releasing the artist that lives within us all, is to let go of the idea of failure. It is not possible, if you give yourself permission to play with the paint. You must (like Thomas Edison did) “fail” many times, but that’s part of the journey of finding your voice as an artist. You must go forward, bravely, and let the art happen. You will be amazed at yourself when you do this.

    1. Yes Rea, I find it very important to allow oneself to fail, there is pressure to be successful and perform well all the time, but that is not the reality of life.

  10. judy sims

    i love your beautiful work, i love this article. i think there is a weird thing that happens in the art community that defines value and dollars as a standard of measurement. i reject his concept though i understand we all need basic stuff. i really think the answer to are you an artist, is based on how you spend your time, rather than how you find your dollars.

    1. Yes, I agree. I felt so much better when I stopped putting too much pressure on myself to earn enough money, and paradoxically that is also the moment when I started to do better financially.

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