How to Unlock Your True Potential as a Coloured Pencil Artist | Answering Your Questions

Mar 31, 2023
How to Unlock Your True Potential as a Coloured Pencil Artist | Answering Your Questions

Are you wanting to reach your full potential but struggling to know how to take your work to the next level? Or perhaps you feel like you're losing motivation and sometimes don't love the artwork you create. Well, the good news is, you're not alone and I have some tips to help you develop your work, stay motivated and fall in love with your artwork time and time again! Keep reading to start reaching your true potential…


Developing Your Work:

When it comes to developing your work, there are a few key areas that can really help to make an impact and the first one is time. I'm sure you have heard the saying "we all have 24 hours in a day and it's up to you how you use them". Well, that is absolutely true. If your artwork isn't a priority and you're not making time for it, whether it's 20 hours a week or 20 minutes, you're not going to be able to really focus on your art and practise to develop your skills.

The next is knowing where you’re heading. In what way are you wanting to develop your work? It may be that you are wanting to improve your skills in drawing realism, or perhaps you want a more painterly style. Whatever it is, you need to know where you’re heading in order to be able to plan how to get there.

Another key area is your focus. You need to be aware of what areas or skills you find challenging or perhaps haven’t tried before, because then you can focus on practising those and increasing the number of skills you have under your belt. Although it can be nice to draw what we are good at, if you want to improve you have to sometimes dive out of your comfort zone and challenge yourself.


Staying Motivated:

Motivation is something that many people struggle with from time to time, so I am going to share some tips that have really helped me and that I know will help you as well. The first is to try and make a designated space for you and your art, as this will make it easier for you to stay in your little drawing bubble and it makes it less of a burden when you don't have to bring all your pencils and everything out onto the kitchen table and then put them all away again when you're finished.

The next is to make sure you're having fun with your drawing. This may sound really obvious, but make sure you're choosing to draw subjects that you really love to draw and also choosing subjects that challenge you, perhaps trying new skills or doing small little focus pieces that don't take too long but are completely different to what you usually do. If you're no longer loving your time drawing try mixing it up.

Avoiding procrastination is something easier said than done, but if you're finding yourself doing everything under the sun other than your art, take a step back and ask yourself why. It could be because of the aspects I have already mentioned, for example, you find it too much of a chore to get everything set up, or you are losing interest in the subjects you're drawing, but whatever it is you need to make yourself aware so that you can try and remove some of those obstacles.

Finally, find yourself a great community, where you can ask any questions and feel comfortable sharing your work for advice and support. I can't advise this enough, as you can learn so much from other people and their experiences and it allows you to have conversations with like-minded people, who are on the same artist journey as you. A community will really help to build you up and keep you motivated!


Falling in Love with Your Work:

Having the right mindset is key when you're trying to develop your skill level because you can very easily become frustrated if a new technique isn't working or your drawing is going through an "ugly" phase, so make sure to take time to admire what you have done well. If you are constantly in a mindset where even though you have finished a piece and you're proud of it, you're still focusing on the areas you don't like, then you're going to start to detract from how incredible it is. We are often our own worst critics so try not to talk to yourself too harshly.

It's also incredibly important to keep reminding yourself just how much you have achieved along your coloured pencil journey! You already have so many amazing skills, some that you might not even be aware of, but if you're drawing and maybe something isn't going to plan, don't talk negatively to yourself. Think of all the skills you have used to even be able to get to this point and not the one skill you perhaps don't have… yet!


To hear me talk more about my top tips for unlocking your true potential as an artist and listen to me answer some of your questions, make sure you watch the video at the top of this page.
If you would rather, you can also listen to Episode 57 of my It’s A Bonny Old Life Podcast by clicking here.

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