color swatches on paper are experiments in choosing a palette for the painting.

Explore Your Inner Artist, No Previous Experience Required

Could learning to draw or paint be your ticket to calm?

Since pandemic life has become the new normal, anything related to home improvement or hobbies is selling (and selling out!) like hot cakes.

We’ve already done the Marie Kondo thing. Everybody has a clean closet. What next?

Don’t dismiss the idea of learning to draw and paint flat out. I know a guy who learned to sew as a way to survive isolation.

The last time I saw my doc, he listened to my complaints and drew out of them that I was experiencing anxiety. My instant reaction was, “You are so wrong.” But, after reflecting, I think he may have been right.

I decided to resuscitate a hobby that has been buried in the basement for a long time: drawing and painting.

Anytime you begin a new hobby or pick up an old one, you experience some fear; or, at least, I do.

My solution to the blank white paper staring at me was to find some lessons on YouTube.

It’s amazing what you can learn from the comfort of your own couch.

Shayda Campbell

Shayda Campbell posts video art tutorials every Tuesday and Friday.

Her artwork is clean and modern, something I desperately need to develop in my own work. By following her example, you can achieve some impressive results that will encourage you to continue. I think that my artwork has improved leaps and bounds with her free sketching and watercolor lessons.

I love her presentation, from her studio decor, to her wardrobe, to her easy and organized teaching style. I revived my sketchbook habit by watching her tutorials.

If you are wondering where to start, this may be the place.

You can access her YouTube channel via her website or go to YouTube directly and search Shayda Campbell.

Cafe Watercolor – Eric Yi Lin

Eric Yi Lin will teach you how to see basic shapes to draw a figure. It’s a fundamental of line drawing.

He does so with a calm and ease that is relaxing when you might be feeling tense in your new pursuit.

And, his work showcases his obvious ability that he’s been developing since he was old enough to hold a pencil and paintbrush.

He is brutally honest that creating good art takes a lot of hard work. That’s something we often miss when starting a new hobby. We think we should be good at it from the start. We often don’t put in the work required to become good – even at hobbies.

Lin explains his process. It is straightforward and sensible, and he doesn’t fast forward to the finished product. You actually get to see how a painter decides on a subject, structures his composition, and executes the painting.

Be prepared to be wowed by this talented watercolorist.

Cafe Watercolor on YouTube

Learn to Draw and Paint Botanicals

People are naturally attracted to paintings of plants and animals. I think it relates to the satisfaction we humans derive from connecting with Nature.

If you can’t get into the great outdoors, the next best thing is looking at it through an artist’s eyes.

The next step: make yourself the artist.

I came across The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s online botanical painting class on a general YouTube search.

I liked this video because it recorded the artist’s technique and thought process from start to finish, making it a great video to participate in while viewing.

In other words, you can copy her step-by-step!

The Met has a bunch of “drop in” art classes to inspire and it’s worth your time to check it out.!?media=Video&sortBy=date-desc&sortOrder=asc&channel=all&page=1

Get Your Van Gogh On

I hope that I’ve inspired you to give sketching and painting a try as a new hobby. These videos are not intimidating, but they are a great place to start and hosted by talented artists.

Don’t forget that you don’t need to share your sketchbook with anyone unless you want to, so feel free to explore your inner artist.

The pandemic may not be a blessing but it can be a way to find some inner peace if you’re willing to open up to new possibilities.

Hang in there!

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