There are some things you can learn only by doing. It doesn’t matter how many Youtube videos you watch or how many books you read, you can’t possibly understand and learn how to paint from them until you pick up a brush and do it for yourself.
So I recommend that all hobby artists like me should paint as often as possible. Yes, most of it may end up in the bin (although it’s worthwhile saving a few as a reminder of where you were at the time), but you have to make mistakes in order to develop your art. Consider it a growing experience.
But sometimes you just can’t find something that inspires you enough to get your brushes and paints out.
I have a list of subjects that I intend to get around to painting one day, along with reference material for each of them that I can use without infringing anyone’s copyright, but these are projects that will take a few days to complete. Sometimes what I need is a subject I can complete in a couple of hours, so what to do?
That’s where my painting magazines and books are invaluable. I look for subjects or demonstrations done in the style that I’m aspiring to achieve and paint them. OK, so it’s copying someone else’s work, but that’s what you’re supposed to be doing with the magazine/book demonstrations. And provided you don’t claim any credit for or sell any paintings that you’ve done in this way, i.e. you’re using them only for your own personal artistic development, then you shouldn’t encounter any copyright problems. And the experience might just provide the spark you need to get on with your own work.
I’ve attached a few examples of paintings I’ve done in this way, based mostly on demonstrations in Leisure Painter Magazine, although the street scene with scooter is my attempt at reproducing an original work by Sabine Israel which I found in the book “Pen and Ink” by James Hobbs.
Happy painting, and I hope you make lots of mistakes this month!