I remember clearly how I felt in the early days of my art journey, struggling to find information to help me do better art with soft pastel.  I lacked confidence in my art in epic proportions but I was so passionate about improving.

 I had so many questions, about confidence, technique, materials.  And even when I’d been given the secret to pastelling fur or skin, I wasn’t able to do it straight away because:   

To translate knowledge to a skill simply takes time


Confidence and skills are not magical powers,

they are built with consistent practice


So, as a Beginner artist I’d like to tell you what I wish someone had told me:

Slow down, enjoy the journey (your art journey) and treat every moment of frustration as a moment of curiosity, like a small puzzle to be solved.

 Can you switch from frustration to curiosity?

 And Remember these two things:

  •  Your whole painting is not rubbish, you’ve just been looking at it too long and you can’t see the wood for the trees – you are likely focusing on a very small part that you don’t like and probably nobody else will notice. Walk away, cover it up and leave it a few days. Then take another look.
  • Nobody views art from 2 inches away (only artists do that!) stand back and look at your work,  it really is the big picture that matters and the overall feeling, not the minute details.

Do your grandchildren play with Lego?

Did you know Lego is designed to fulfil 3 purposes:

  • Enjoy making the lego and put it on the shelf to be admired
  • Enjoy making the lego and play with it
  • Enjoy making the lego, play then turn it into something else

As a hobby artist remember that your art is like Lego – it fulfils more than something on a shelf to be admired

  • It is the process of doing the art
  • How it makes you feel
  • How it helps you forget about your worries
  • How it brings you together with like-minded friends where you laugh and chat. (on Zoom or online – until we meet again)

These things are so much more important than anything – especially in these challenging times.

Remember that your art doesn’t have to be anything predefined by someone else:

  • It can be for the joy of the journey
  • The pleasure of losing yourself in the moment
  • It can be striking
  • Thought provoking / Bold
  • Beautiful colours – a dance with colour

It doesn’t have to be ALL about the end result

I hope this blog has helped you think about your art in a different way. We are all on our own art journey and no matter where we are in that journey – we are constantly moving and changing (even professionals and art teachers) and if we can do it with curiosity rather than frustration it will help us relax and enjoy that journey all the more.

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Sue is a Soft Pastel Artist and International Tutor from England UK
She's passionate about soft pastel art and teaching her students from around the globe.

"Art makes my heart sing and my soul smile"