Principles and Value

3 Ways to become a better artist FOR FREE!

Last time we talked about why some of the most common question on the internet is actually not the most important ones. And why things like materials and technique won’t make you a better artist. If you haven’t watch that one I strongly suggest you go back and watch that one first. Today, I’m going to continue that topic and share with you what should you be doing to become a better artist. And the best thing about it is that it is completely free and you can do it right now!

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Are you asking the wrong question?

I’ve seen so many of these questions floating around the internet. And quite a few people asked me those questions as well. But quite honestly, they are often the wrong question to ask. Some of the most popular YouTube videos about watercolor is about these two topics: Materials, and Techniques. So questions like "What brand of paper, paint, and brushes do I use? What’s the size of the papers and brushes? What colors of paint do I use?" and so on. And the technical questions are usually about "How do you do wet on wet, wet on dry, making washes, how do you mix certain colors".. and so on. Now, don’t get me wrong. These questions are legit and it is great to know. But quite often, they are the wrong questions to ask. Notice, I said “wrong questions” not “bad questions” Why do people ask questions? Because there’s a problem to solve. But if you ask a good question at the wrong time, it’s not going to solve your problem. Therefore it is a wrong question to ask.

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Don't be afraid to take the risk in watercolor

Amsterdam, see the full length live demo  HERE

Amsterdam, see the full length live demo HERE

My new car has a parking sensor. Whenever I am too close to a car during parking, it will start beeping to alert me. This warns me that I am about to bump into another car. It is a neat feature. It can help me avoid a parking lot accident. However, since I am an experienced driver who knows the size of my car. I am well aware of how close I can get to another car without bump into them. Whenever I heard the beep from my car while I turn into the parking spot in between two cars, I did start slowing down and be more cautious. However, I know I am usually still quite safe to complete my parking without backing up.

This week as I hear the beep from my car again, I realized that this is just like painting watercolor. When I just started to paint watercolor, I was afraid of making mistakes. That was because I am not familiar with how the watercolor works. I hesitate and did not know what to do. And that ruins a lot of paintings back then. Sometimes I'm afraid of using too much water, and sometimes I'm afraid of going too dark. Now that I am a lot more experience with watercolor, I know how to push its limit and be a little bit more risky with my approach. Sometimes, I might still ruin a painting. But the reward is often worth the risk. I wasn't able to gain this confidence without a lot of practice. Just like driving my car. I know its size, speed, and how to operate it. So much so it becomes a nature to me. I am sure you have a similar experience.

Good news, if you take the risk in watercolor and failed, you don't have to pay for any damage, your insurance rate won't raise, and you don't have to drive a damaged car around the town. All you lose is a ruined painting. So with that in mind, relax, and go for it. Take some risk and accept the outcome. You might fail, but you learn way more than if you are afraid all the time.

Confidence boost along the journey

 There are so many things we can compare with other people. As an artist, I often compare myself to many other artists. As a YouTuber, I also compare my content and channel with other YouTubers. However, I know this is a mental trap I need to avoid. The art world is not a zero-sum game. Just because someone's work got praised or sold doesn't mean I become less of an artist. And just because someone's YouTube channel is getting more subscribers doesn't mean my channel is losing followers.

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