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Conquer Your Blank Canvas Fears!

Whether you’re a modern-day Picasso or it’s your first time touching a brush, painter’s block can happen to anyone. Getting started can be exceptionally difficult when your mind is as blank as the canvas you’re staring at. There are painting tips and tricks all over the web, but few address the first, and most daunting, step: how to start painting on a blank canvas.

While a blank canvas can be both literal and figurative, overcoming the fear of trying something new is possible! Use these tips to conquer your painter’s block (and anything else you don’t think you’re good at):

1. Ditch Any Standards and Expectations

You will produce some great work throughout your painting journey, but you will also paint some duds. If you look at every canvas and feel an overwhelming pressure to create something amazing and unique, you’ll quickly lose inspiration (and potentially enjoyment).

Don’t worry about the outcome. Instead, just paint to enjoy yourself, try new techniques, and create something new. In the wise words of iconic painter Bob Ross, “We don’t make mistakes, we have happy accidents.”

2. Take a Breather

Sometimes it’s helpful to take a break when you’re feeling overwhelmed by a blank canvas or the first step of any new hobby. Instead of sitting in place and feeling angst over the task at hand, do something you enjoy, or find inspiration in a new location.

Our most creative thinking occurs when we are truly relaxed, content, and away from the judgment of others and ourselves. So, when you’re experiencing painter’s block or just feel stuck in general, step away for a minute and enjoy better clarity when you return.

3. Challenge Yourself

Sometimes the best way to beat your fear of painting is to get out of your own head with a creative challenge or game.

Instead of aiming to paint something perfect, set a timer and see what you can paint in only 15 minutes. Swap out your paintbrushes for household objects, drop the brush and try your hand at finger painting, or, if you’re a novice, try finding a list of easy canvas painting ideas for beginners and check them off one by one.

When you narrow the focus a bit, you won’t feel as overwhelmed by endless possibilities. The same is true for any new hobby you might try - quick little challenges are the perfect introduction to a big task.

4. Focus on the Process

Stop thinking about what you hope to have at the end, and, instead, consider what’s happening in the here and now. Enjoy the process and take everything one step at a time. After all, marathon runners don’t spend mile one worrying about mile 26 (and if they did, they might not leave the start line).

Mapping out your painting process isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but there is beauty (and excitement) in just letting things flow and evolve. Why have you always loved to paint? What got you started painting? Focus on these things rather than the final product. This mindfulness practice can be applied to any hobby or skill.

5. Paint Somewhere New

Sometimes, the answer for how to get over a mental block is as simple as stepping out of your comfort zone and moving your easel to another location.

Pack up your paints or tools and head to a park, set up on your driveway during a dreamy sunset, leave your cramped painting nook and set up next to your record player in a room with natural light. By introducing some sort of novelty into your process, you can stimulate those creative juices.

Conquer Your Blank Canvas Fears at Painting with a Twist - Pittsburgh - South Side

It’s completely normal to hit a wall on occasion. Break through those artistic barriers by joining us! At Twist South Side, we take care of everything you need, so all you have to focus on is creating your next fun piece of art – without the stress! Register for any of our events, and get ready to rediscover your inspiration.

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