Be a Better Artist: Ask Yourself These Questions

This morning, with my students in mind, I was pondering on what questions painting artists should ask themselves on a regular basis which would help an artist continually improve their work. I decided to list some of the questions that came to mind because I thought it may be useful to other artists as well.

  • Why do I paint?
  • Why do I paint the subject matter I do?
  • What subjects matter to me?
  • What do I choose and why?
  • Is there meaning in my art beyond representing the objects I am painting?
  • Is there metaphor in my work? Should there be
  • Why do I use the colors I do? – low intensity, – mid intensity, – high intensity, – hue families…
  • Do I use a wide or narrow range of value (dark to light)? Why?
  • Do I get the darks dark enough? Too dark?
  • Why do I paint on the canvas size I do: Lg, Med, Sm.?
  • What do I fear in my work; subject matter, size, color…?
  • What is my greatest artistic weakness?
  • What can I do to change that weakness to a strength?

I have found that the better you know yourself and the reason behind your choices, the more engaging your work becomes to others – this is a good thing. I hope you find these questions useful as you continue your work as an artist. I hope you find these questions useful as you continue your work as an artist.

I would love to hear from you in the comments below. What questions do you ask yourself, that help you become a better artist?

Keep painting & stay great,

– Mark B. Goodson

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