ART FIT Podcast – Episode 14

ART FIT Podcast – Episode 14

Experience ‘the ugly stage’ and keep going! Imagine me cheering you on to get through the other side.

Join me in the Shiny Happy Art Club and experience the joy of drawing and painting every single month.

Here’s the link for you – www.shinyhappyart.com/getartfit

Transcript

This is episode 14 of the Art Fit Podcast. Hello, I’m Anna Battle, Shiny Happy Artist and your host of the Art Fit Podcast. Now, just as physical fitness is good for your body, Art Fitness is good for your mind. And you don’t need to be an Olympics level professional artist to benefit from Art Fitness. But what is the point? How do you actually do it? How do you fit it all in? Well, I’m on a mission to help you get Art Fit. 

This podcast is brought to you by my Shiny Happy Art Club. I send you a brand new high quality guided Paint Along each month, in acrylic and watercolour, as part of a lovely group of art friends from around the world. So, you can become a Shiny Happy Artist and get Art Fit. 

Okie dokie. Here we are. It’s number 14. It is the last in this series of Art Fitness episodes. We’ll see if you’ve enjoyed this, please let me know because, I’d love to come back in a little bit of time, but I wanted to leave you in this series with another piece of advice that is something I bring it up very often actually. And really this series has been generated by me spending time with students and saying the same thing over and over again, as I’m reassuring people that yes, they’re on the right journey and yes, this is worthy of doing and yes, imagine sort of painting these subjects and how it can make your life richer and more enjoyable. So here we are number 14. And what I want to share with you today is, not to stop too soon. 

So I have a theory. I have a theory that people who think that they can’t draw and paint probably just haven’t finished yet. So, hear me out with this one, every single painting or drawing has an ugly stage where you just think, oh, I hope this is going to work. It really, really does happen. And it’s just like baking a cake. You can’t judge the look of the final cake while the ingredients are still mixed up together in the bowl, and art can be exactly like that. You sort putting all these elements together, but until you do those final details, those highlights or those adding those extra darks be you’ve checked the tones or whatever it might be, until you’ve finished the job, you know, it’s not finished until it’s finished. It’s so important to remember that. And as your art coach, because here we are on this journey to Art Fitness, it is my job to push you through until your painting or drawing is finished and give you some tools and some techniques and some ideas as to things that you can add to your picture, so that you can really, really enjoy it.

So, when it comes to drawing, I would say, if you think you’re finished, just add two more things and a really good way of sort of thinking, what are those two more things. I always come back to spots and stripes. So, is there an area you can add some spots to, could be the dress, it could be the coffee cup, it might be the grasses or some sparkles in the sky or stripes and adding those extra textures can make such a difference to your piece. It just makes them so much more interesting. So, it’s just think, what are these two things that Anna would say that we could add in that list too you could be checking your tones and adding some deeper colours. You could be adding a border. There are so many different things that we learn about and certainly in the Shiny Happy Art Club we do a painting because I’m a big believer in learning by doing and the end of it, I’d say these are three things you’ve learned. You’ve accidentally learned by painting with me.

So it’s we get the theory in there, but we do it. We actually do something and then we figure out what we’ve learned. That’s the beautiful thing there and often those points are things that I’ve done in that painting to just push you through to a painting that you’re proud of and a painting, an artwork that’s more resolved. So remember, if it doesn’t look right, it probably isn’t finished and we are doing the opposite to what Coco Chanel said to do. I’m sure it’s her saying that she says sort of ‘before you leave the house, look in the mirror and take one thing off.’ Well, I’m going the opposite way, probably more Iris Apfel than Coco Chanel. And saying, if you think you’re finished with this drawing, add two more things and it might be highlights. It might be quite subtle as you get better at it. And you’re happier with the results you’re getting. You might not want to add two more big things.

It just be two more little things, but hopefully you’ll still hear my voice in your head saying what two things can I add? It might be as simple as dating your page because you’ve forgotten to, but just adding two more things will really lift what you’re doing and you might add two more and still not be happy. And which case you might add two more things. Now the opposite side to this is when you overwork a piece and you just have to experience that. If you think you want to take up watercolour and have a go at watercolour? There is no way I can tell you when that painting is finished, until you have experienced overworking, a painting, putting too much detail in there and sort of losing the spark of it.

I know these are very general terms, but you can’t evaluate, well, I don’t have any interest in evaluating art. In quantitative ways I am sticking with the subjective and qualitative. Oh gosh, it’s hard to say that word, isn’t it? But I’m aiming with the aiming to study things with feelings when it comes to art. So you sort of get that feeling and the more practice you have with looking at other people’s work as well as your own you’ll know if that feels right or it doesn’t and I know that sounds very fairy, but please give yourself the opportunity to overwork a watercolour painting, spend a bit too much time on it, have some muddy colours and regret it because the next time you come into doing a painting like that, you will stop early enough. You’ll stop when it’s finished and you’ll keep those colours bright and you’ll have some interesting textures in there because you’ll get to a point and you’re just like, ah, just need two little things I think, oh, I’ll add a few more dots in the centre of those flowers and some extra shadows underneath something and it can be as simple as that.

So please, when you think you finish something, maybe you haven’t, if it doesn’t feel right, add two more things. Okay. Think of me as being the Iris Apfel the art coaching world and know that with your Art Fitness, we can just add two more things won’t hurt. You probably won’t even take any much time at all, but it will make you as so much more enthusiastic about the work that you’ve been doing. You will impress yourself out of the park as you learn different techniques and you’re able to add them in and before long you’ll be feeling so much more art like, oh, you can feel those muscles as you.

So doing your next sketch. You can feel those creativity, muscles just kicking in and the muscle memory, remembering all the things we’ve talked about today and the things we’ve talked about earlier in this podcast, when they all sort of come together on the page, it is magical. So that is the experience I want you to enjoy along with finishing and filling your book that’s another subject. We’ll talk about another time, but please do get out that pencil, make some marks on the paper, enjoy your journey to Art Fitness with me, by all means, please take a look at the Shiny Happy Art Club, because it is a wonderful way to get you making art regularly and enjoying it. In the company of lovely art friends, it is a wonderful way to spend your time on your Art Fitness journey. But thank you so much for joining me for this podcast series. I’ve so enjoyed putting it together for you. Hopefully these little bite size chunks of information and knowledge have hit home and you’ve been able to include them in whatever art practice you are doing, whether it’s the five minutes, a day-ish practice or big beautiful paintings and lots of learning in a shorter amount of time, because you have heaps of time, whatever it might be for you. I hope there is a way we make it work. And I will love to see you in my virtual studio. Bye for now.

So, you want to get Art Fit? We’ll find out when the doors to the Shiny Happy Art Club open next. There are 24 online Paint Alongs to choose from when you join, so you’ll definitely find something you love. And now, there are also $15 and $25 subscription options. So, go to www.shinyhappyart.com to pop your name on the waiting list. I look forward to painting with you in the Shiny Happy Art Club. And until then, I’ll be back in your ears with the next episode of the Art Fit Podcast.

So that is a wrap on this, the first series of the Art Fit Podcast. Thank you so much for joining me. I really am excited to get these ideas out into the world. And the fact that Art Fitness is good for our minds is so important. So please don’t keep it to yourself. Tell a friend get the kids involved, tell a work mate, tell your mum whatever it might be, but it’s such a wonderful thing to give yourself the gift of freedom to get a pencil out and do a bit of a drawing and enjoy the mindfulness and the gratitude that flows from that sort of art activity. So, I’m really, really glad that you’ve spent this time with me on your journey to becoming Art Fit and I’ll see you soon.

ART FIT Podcast – Episode 14

ART FIT Podcast – Episode 13

Seeing your progress will keep you going!

Transcript

This is episode 13 of the Art Fit Podcast. Hello, I’m Anna Battle, Shiny Happy Artist and your host of the Art Fit Podcast. Now, just as physical fitness is good for your body, Art Fitness is good for your mind. And you don’t need to be an Olympics level professional artist to benefit from Art Fitness. But what is the point? How do you actually do it? How do you fit it all in? Well, I’m on a mission to help you get Art Fit. 

This podcast is brought to you by my Shiny Happy Art Club. I send you a brand new high quality guided Paint Along each month, in acrylic and watercolour, as part of a lovely group of art friends from around the world. So, you can become a Shiny Happy Artist and get Art Fit.

Lucky 13. Here we are. Episode 13 of this series in the Art Fit Podcast. Thank you so much for joining me. Now, it’s a pretty little important, pretty little important. It’s a pretty important tip that I want to share with you, today. And that is, it’s a simple one, always date your sketchbook pages. I cannot overestimate how important this is, I think, because this is the way you’ll see your improvement, you can gauge your improvement, as you’re learning more about art and making more art, and doing more drawings, whether it’s 3 times a week or 3 times a day, it really doesn’t matter because if you’re dating it, you’ll be able to see the progress. 

I don’t know if you remember, as a kid, if your parents or family members measured you against a wall, we always sort of planned to do it, I don’t know that we did it very often but I had some rallies who did it really beautifully. And you know, you line up against the wall and the child gets measured. And then they can come back tomorrow and they’re still the same size, okay? So you’re not seeing any growth there. That’s the same thing as in your sketchbook. So, you can do a drawing today, and a drawing tomorrow. And there might not be a huge improvement. It’s the same with exercise. You might be able to do 10 sit-ups today, and only 11 tomorrow. But still, there’s not a huge gap there. But if you do keep up the practice and that fitness journey, give it a month and you’ll definitely see an improvement; and that’s exactly what happens with your art as well. But if you don’t date your pages, you are not able to see your progress as clearly. And it is so rewarding, seeing your progress. 

Now, I’m not great at filling my sketchbooks chronologically. And part of that is because I have a number of sketchbooks on the go, because I use different sizes for different activities. So, if I’m out and about, I’ll just have a smaller sketchbook with me. But if I want to sketch at home or I’m going to a coffee shop or a beach or something, and I know I will take the time to do a bigger picture, I’ll take a bigger sketchbook. So, I do chop and change between them. And I’m also used to be quite scared of that front page, so I’d sort of leave it and start in the middle of the book. These days, I’m not quite as scared. I recommend that you either write your “why?” on the front page, or sketch your art supplies; that is my way of sort of breaking the ice on a new sketchbook; it’s figuring what art supplies you’re using today, and that’s a really good subject to get you started. 

But it’s really important to date your sketchbook, so that you can see the improvement. And it also works as a bit of a journal because when you look at a painting or a sketch of an event, there is so much more memory tied up in there, than just the pigment on the page. I can look back at sketches from years ago. And look, my memory isn’t great in so many other things, but I can look back at a sketch that I did, when I was having coffee with girlfriends, perhaps years and years ago. So, say, 7 years ago, when I was not painting regularly, but I did know, and I wasn’t sketching regularly but I did know that I needed to date the pages. And when you look at that sketch, and certainly when I look at that sketch, I can remember the music that was playing, the subjects we spoke about, the weather that was, sort of the feeling of the day. There are so many extra memories tied up in that drawing. So, please, please, please, date your drawings. It’s also a great opportunity, just to take a quick photo on your phone because then they pop up as memories; and you not only get to enjoy the memory as a photo, but you get to enjoy the memory as a drawing. And I love when those memories pop up, and you can remember all those other things that happened and you can see the progress. So, if that’s what you were drawing, like 3 years ago, and you can compare it with what you’re drawing, like now, your Art Fitness journey is well on its way, if you’ve been drawing everyday-ish, from those early days and you have a record there, of how you have improved. 

I have seen my style develop, probably. Most of all, I’ve sort of decided, how I like to draw. More than other ways, I know that I like drawing watercolour first, and then pencil on top. Whereas, in my earlier sketchbooks, I had felt pens and different pencils and paint, you know, I did acrylic in my sketchbooks as well. and look, I still do that from time to time, but it really was very experimental in the early days, and I love going back and seeing those extra experiments because they’ve led me to where I am today. So, do get experimental in your sketchbooks but mark that date on, so that you too can see your progress; just like a child up against the wall, as they’re growing, you’ll see the difference eventually. And with your physical fitness, hard to see the results between one day and the next, but easier to see when you’ve had a bit of time elapsed, and you can really enjoy the difference. Okay. So on that note, remember, with you getting Art Fit, document it, put the dates on your sketchbook pages. And if you haven’t done that already, maybe go back and put some approximate dates; that will do the job too. It close enough is good enough, when you have to be. But other than that, date them from now on. I think that’s a fantastic way of managing your Art Fitness. 

So, you want to get Art Fit? We’ll find out when the doors to the Shiny Happy Art Club open next. There are 24 online Paint Alongs to choose from when you join, so you’ll definitely find something you love. And now, there are also $15 and $25 subscription options. So, go to www.shinyhappyart.com to pop your name on the waiting list. I look forward to painting with you in the Shiny Happy Art Club. And until then, I’ll be back in your ears with the next episode of the Art Fit Podcast.

ART FIT Podcast – Episode 14

ART FIT Podcast – Episode 12

Colour is one of the joys of my life.

But in this episode I’ll tell you what I believe is more important, and how to use it to improve your drawings and paintings.

Transcript

This is episode 12 of the Art Fit Podcast. Hello, I’m Anna Battle, Shiny Happy Artist and your host of the Art Fit Podcast. Now, just as physical fitness is good for your body, Art Fitness is good for your mind. And you don’t need to be an Olympics level professional artist to benefit from Art Fitness. But what is the point? How do you actually do it? How do you fit it all in? Well, I’m on a mission to help you get Art Fit. 

This podcast is brought to you by my Shiny Happy Art Club. I send you a brand new high quality guided Paint Along each month, in acrylic and watercolour, as part of a lovely group of art friends from around the world. So, you can become a Shiny Happy Artist and get Art Fit.

Okay. So, episode 12, it must be time to get a little bit controversial, shall we? And what I’m going to say is, that I believe that tones are more important than colours. And I don’t think I’m the only one, actually. So, maybe it’s not too controversial but I love colour. I absolutely love colour, in every aspect of my life, and particularly when it comes to painting. I think, I love painting flowers because I’m allowed to play with colour. When it comes to flowers, they’re a terrific way to experiment and enjoy rich, rich colour. So, colour is wonderful, but colour does have what’s called a value. And this is… The way I like to explain it, is if you take a photo of a colour, it will come, and then turn it into black and white. So, you’ve got a monotone photo of a colour; it will read as a shade of grey. So, yellow will be a light grey; dark green will come up as nearly black; a mid-blue will be a mid-grey. Okay? 

So, you can use your own phone to do this. And with an iPhone, you can choose the monotone of the monochrome, I think it is filter. Now it is monotone; that’s right. There’s 3 different black and white filters on my own phone, at the moment. Of course, that changes. But if you have a different phone, please just google, if you don’t know how to find the filters because this is such a fabulous resource, if you are sketching or painting, when it comes to judging your tones. Because you may often get to the end of a picture and go, “Ah! That’s not that impressive. What have I done?” You can’t quite put your finger on it. but a terrific way of, sort of, self-editing or self-judging, critiquing the drawing or the painting that you’ve done, is to get out your phone, set it to monotone and see if your picture looks good in shades of grey. Because if it does still look good in shades of grey, well, then you’re done; you’ve finished that picture. It’s time to move away. Let’s step away from the canvas or the sketchbook, and have a break or move on to the next one. But if it looks good in shades of grey, that is a really good way to figure out that you’ve resolved that painting or drawing. 

If it doesn’t look good in shades of grey, then that gives you an opportunity to think, what am I missing? So, it might be the depth; you might not have enough darks on there that show where the petals are sort of pulling away, and down into the centre of the flower. There might be shadows underneath the petals that you haven’t included in there. It gives you the opportunity to see things again. By the same token, if you’ve gone in and not put any highlights on, then you have everything pretty dark; that can be a pretty boring picture too. So, just consider, if you’re going to add some highlights into there, and how you can do that. If you’ve gone with watercolours, it’s a bit harder to do but, by the way, look, you can get any paint out and add it to the watercolours. If you’re not entering a watercolour competition and this is your sketchbook, once again, I’m giving you the freedom to use some mixed media there; bring in something else. 

My mum is a wonderful artist. Diana Battle Artist; you should follow her. She often will cut out or tear up pieces of coloured paper, or cut like she’s painted them, and she’ll place them around her paintings, to give an idea of where colours could be changed. So, she’s actually physically, it’s all like collage, like temporary collage to decide how the colours will work. But it’s such a really good way to use your phone. It’s a wonderful resource. It’s not cheating; it is using something that is available to us. At the moment, these days, most people have that access to a phone that can look at it through a monotone filter. So, keep that up your sleeve because that is a terrific way to judge your tones. And it means that your colours, if they’re not spot on, they can still work. And there are so many artists who use super bright colours or quite neutral colours, and it still works. Okay? That’s because their tones are fantastic. By the same token, there are people who will use a lot of dark colours, and it’s like, you know, something’s not quite right about it but you can’t quite put your finger on it, and that might just be because of the tones. You don’t need to have an equal amount of each tone, but a little bit of each at least, is a really good way of starting out, especially as a beginner, when you want to impress yourself. Okay, so there you go. I’ve said it; tones are more important than colours. Do look at different colours through your phone and see what the shades of grey are. And as you file away that knowledge, it will make you a more confident painter. So, go ahead and do that; that’s a really important skill to learn, when you’re trying to get Art Fit. 

So, you want to get Art Fit? We’ll find out when the doors to the Shiny Happy Art Club open next. There are 24 online Paint Alongs to choose from when you join, so you’ll definitely find something you love. And now, there are also $15 and $25 subscription options. So, go to www.shinyhappyart.com to pop your name on the waiting list. I look forward to painting with you in the Shiny Happy Art Club. And until then, I’ll be back in your ears with the next episode of the Art Fit Podcast.

ART FIT Podcast – Episode 14

ART FIT Podcast – Episode 11

Start with an understanding of the primary colours – experience them – and you’re building skills that you’ll use in every single sketch or painting. 

Start by ‘really seeing’ but know there is a time when you can step away from your reference and add to your sketch simply as a work of art.

Transcript

This is episode 11 of the Art Fit Podcast. Hello, I’m Anna Battle, Shiny Happy Artist and your host of the Art Fit Podcast. Now, just as physical fitness is good for your body, Art Fitness is good for your mind. And you don’t need to be an Olympics level professional artist to benefit from Art Fitness. But what is the point? How do you actually do it? How do you fit it all in? Well, I’m on a mission to help you get Art Fit. 

This podcast is brought to you by my Shiny Happy Art Club. I send you a brand new high quality guided Paint Along each month, in acrylic and watercolour, as part of a lovely group of art friends from around the world. So, you can become a Shiny Happy Artist and get Art Fit. 

Now today, I’m going to share just a little that very important tip. Actually, I think there’s two of them that I want to share with you today, and it’s about adding more than one colour. So in the old days, when you are perhaps colouring in a colouring book, did you just go, okay, the sky is blue, and colour it in blue; the grass is green, and colour it in green. This is a red flower, colour it in red. It’s very likely that that is the case. So now, I’m going to encourage you to open your eyes and really see the colours in things. And at the very least, add at least one extra colour when you go in and paint or draw something. So when I’m out and about, I like having a small kit with me, and I usually take 3 coloured pencils, the 3 primary colours; blue, red and yellow.

And I do find myself adding yellow to most things at the end. If you’ve painted or watched me paint online at any opportunity, I will say, it’s time to add some yellow; it’s that’s magical zinger colour. So I often add yellow. But if you worry about perhaps going in with watercolour or any paint, and making a mud colour, you’ve probably done that before. That’s because all 3 primary colours are in that mix. So, you’ve mixed a bit of red, yellow, and blue in that mix. Now, of course, red and yellow make orange. So, if I get any blue mix with orange, I’m going to get that muddy, dark colour. Purple is made of red and blue. So if I add yellow to that, in any way, and this could be by adding orange or something with yellow in it, once again, I’ll get mud. 

So, the safest way to add a second colour, whether it’s in paint or in pencil, and wanting it to look good, is to go with an analogous colour scheme. And when I say analogous, it’s these are the colours that are next to each other on the colour wheel. So, yellow has orange on one side and red on the other. So, orange. Yes, it does has red and yellow. Of course, it does. So those colours, all together, will not make mud because there’s no blue in there. It’s just those two primaries, red and yellow make orange; and that’s all there is to it. You could also pop some pink in there because in pink, there’s no blue. And whatever colours, like shades of orange or yellow will work in there as well, and you will not get mud. By the same token, if you’re painting a blue coffee cup, you might add a bit of purple or add a bit of green. But you wouldn’t add purple and green because purple’s got blue and red, green has blue and yellow. And then, put them all together and you’ve got all three primaries, so you’ll get mud. 

So, when you’re just starting off, when I say add some colour to a space that you are adding colour to your sketch. And colour really does turn a drawing into an art work, I find. I mean, there’s a lot of way drawing is art, most certainly, but just to lift it in your own, like impress yourself steaks, adding a bit of colour can be fun. But when you’re colouring in, say, a yellow flower, I’d say just add a bit of orange in there as well, maybe a bit of red, and you won’t regret it. if you do regret it, it slightly differently next time. And with the sky, what colour really is the sky? It’s often lighter at the horizon line. If you look out to the horizon, the horizon is the farthest, sort of, if you’re looking at it long at the ocean in particular, the farthest way of like, the longest distance away from you is on the horizon line; and that will often be lighter, okay? Depending on the weather, but it’s lighter at the horizon line. It goes darker, when you go look up to the sky above you. But do notice, because of course, this sky changes as the sunsets and the sun rises. But these are things that you can start noticing, when you are looking through the eyes of an artist, just thinking, “Okay, this thing is red, what other colours can I add?” And adding that second colour is a terrific way of impressing yourself. 

So, don’t cover up the whole thing that’s already there though. So, if you have painted the whole thing in yellow, leave some of that yellow still showing through, and it will really dance on the page. But multicolours are really more interesting. Your sky doesn’t have to be totally blue; it could have other colours in it as well. This is a lovely children’s book by the author of the dot, I think. And it’s about a child who runs out of blue paint, but still has to paint the sky. And on her way home from school that day, thinking about “how am I going to paint the sky when I have no blue paint?” she notices all the different colours of the sky. So, now is the time to open up your eyes and really see. This is a true gift of becoming Art Fit; this ability to really see things and notice things. And just starting with those 2 colours is a really good way to begin. And believe me, it doesn’t end there. When you’re adding shadows as well, sort of, don’t think that the shadows are black; there might be colours in those, too. That is a subject for another time. But start looking and noticing the colours, and you might just see that you are impressing yourself more with your art work because you’re able to include those too. Okay. So, let’s go get Art Fit with more than one colour, like more than one exercise. So, we’re stretching a whole bunch of different muscles, but more than one colour is a terrific way to go on your journey to Art Fitness.

So, you want to get Art Fit? We’ll find out when the doors to the Shiny Happy Art Club open next. There are 24 online Paint Alongs to choose from when you join, so you’ll definitely find something you love. And now, there are also $15 and $25 subscription options. So, go to www.shinyhappyart.com to pop your name on the waiting list. I look forward to painting with you in the Shiny Happy Art Club. And until then, I’ll be back in your ears with the next episode of the Art Fit Podcast.

ART FIT Podcast – Episode 14

ART FIT Podcast – Episode 10

Explore your freedom and see what works for you. I have a few ideas you may like to try.

Transcript

This is episode 10 of the Art Fit Podcast. Hello, I’m Anna Battle, Shiny Happy Artist and your host of the Art Fit Podcast. Now, just as physical fitness is good for your body, Art Fitness is good for your mind. And you don’t need to be an Olympics level professional artist to benefit from Art Fitness. But what is the point? How do you actually do it? How do you fit it all in? Well, I’m on a mission to help you get Art Fit. 

This podcast is brought to you by my Shiny Happy Art Club. I send you a brand new high quality guided Paint Along each month, in acrylic and watercolour, as part of a lovely group of art friends from around the world. So, you can become a Shiny Happy Artist and get Art Fit. 

Okay. So, we’ve really set ourselves up. We’ve got some ideas of what we’re painting and drawing, and where we’re going to be when we do it, and our mindset’s all good. Now, if you’ve taken all those things on board, I’m now going to give you the gift of freedom; and that is because you are not being marked anymore. There are no marks for getting your art “right”. You have the gift of freedom. Now, whether you are still a student of student age, and you’re being marked on other things, when you are Shiny Happy Arting, when you are drawing and painting for Art Fitness, there are no marks. So, you are allowed to do crazy things, like colouring outside the lines. Can you imagine that? 

Now, one of my favourite ways to draw and paint, and it’s really urban sketching. So, when I’m sketching out and about, is actually starting with the colour first. So, I might sit down in a coffee shop at the table, and look at what I’m going to draw. Now, it’s either a small subject, like the cup and saucer in front of me, or it might be a bigger subject, like corner of the room. Whatever it might be, but I actually take my glasses off, so I can’t see the edges and I will put on the paint first. So, I just loosely marked down the shapes that are formed by those colours, and just gives me an idea of where sort of things fit in the picture. It helps them figure out the proportions. And look, it’s very, very quick. And I’m certainly practicing it now, which makes it quicker. But I don’t stress about getting exactly where those shapes are because I know, I’m allowed to draw and colour outside the lines. And it is a fabulous way to feel free. So, then I go back with my coloured pencils; and I love using coloured pencils with watercolour because I don’t need to wait. I know I’m not going to wreck, if I was using a pen, I’d wreck it because the paint was wet. But with coloured pencils, you don’t have to worry so much. 

So, I then go back in with coloured pencils and I start drawing the lines, but only the most important lines, because the colours are already there, so it already gives you a lot of information about the scene. And when I do put the lines on, it doesn’t actually have to line up with the colour underneath. And the more that it doesn’t line up, the more movement I actually seem to get. So, give yourself the freedom and the flexibility to paint and draw outside the lines. You don’t need to be neat, you don’t need to get top marks; you just need to enjoy it. And believe me, if you’re colouring outside the lines, you’re more likely to capture the life in your picture, your movement in your picture. And if you are a naturally neat person and who likes to draw really neatly, look, just give it a go. Give it a go. And while I’m saying, colouring inside the lines, you don’t need to rush it. I think, the tendency there is to go faster. It’s just this allowance, this permission that you can do it a different way, and experiencing that different way because you just might like it. 

I’m personally on a mission to be able to use as few lines as possible, to get a theme or a subject on the page, to see if… And look, you need to give yourself, and give your brain, permission to fill in the gaps and really explore what is possible, when it comes to leaving out some bits or doing things that aren’t quite by the book. And quite how we were told to do it at school, in many years ago. I think, there are a lot more progressive art teachers these days, which allow a bit more freedom. but if you have felt constrained by having to colour within the lines before, believe me, this is me giving you permission to get stuck into it and enjoy sort of having a bit of looseness in there. And losing the lines is just guidelines, not ruler lines; and that’s a really lovely way of putting them down on the paper. These are just guides, no rules, and off you go. So, enjoy yourself today. Put some colour on some page, add some paper, and colour outside the lines, and think of me on your journey to Art Fitness. 

So, you want to get Art Fit? We’ll find out when the doors to the Shiny Happy Art Club open next. There are 24 online Paint Alongs to choose from when you join, so you’ll definitely find something you love. And now, there are also $15 and $25 subscription options. So, go to www.shinyhappyart.com to pop your name on the waiting list. I look forward to painting with you in the Shiny Happy Art Club. And until then, I’ll be back in your ears with the next episode of the Art Fit Podcast.