Artist Struggles: Painting

Over the last weeks I was never really happy with what I painted. I did a lot of practising sketches for anatomy but I wasn’t able to produce something I actually liked. I even started a portrait that now sits on the top of my shelf because I just can’t look at it anymore. The struggle is real. Today I made a second attempt and this went soooo well. I can’t wait to show you the result once it is finished.

How many of these struggles do you experience? I’m curious!

  1. Never having the right material at home when you have a good idea.
  2. Having the material but no idea what to paint.
  3. The fear of the blanc canvas.
  4. The smudges pencils make on canvas when touching water.
  5. Trying to copy a reference image onto a canvas.
  6. Not being able to decide which colours to use. Acrylics? Oil? Watercolours?
  7. Not really knowing how to use all those different materials but using them anyway.
  8. Brushes that lose hair.
  9. Little brush hair all over your painting that you can’t get off the canvas.
  10. Your own hair covered in paint.
  11. Your face covered in paint.
  12. Basically inventing a new nail polish.
  13. Not noticing that you are covered in paint and then asking yourself how many people have seen you with that blue on your cheek.
  14. Water that got so dirty from paint that you ruin the bright areas of your painting.
  15. Being too lazy to change the water.
  16. Knocking your water glass over and covering your whole table in black soup.
  17. Accidentally dipping your brush into your cup of tea.
  18. Accidentally drinking out of your painting glass.
  19. Putting the wrong colour in the wrong place.
  20. Trying to wipe this colour off but thereby ruining the whole picture.
  21. Getting too much colour out of a tube.
  22. Getting no colour at all out of the tube.
  23. Trying different needles, pencils etc. to get it working again.
  24. Colours that have separated into the pigments and something unknown.
  25. Colours that are already solid because you forgot about them.
  26. Paper that gets wavy when soaked in water.
  27. Not being content with what you are painting at all.
  28. Hoping that it gets better.
  29. It’s not getting better.
  30. Sitting on your chair defeated.
  31. With your back aching.
  32. And your head tired.
  33. Wanting to tear that canvas into pieces.
  34. Instead just turning it around so that you don’t have to see it anymore.
  35. Finally overpainting your first attempt.
  36. Getting loads of comissions from your family.
  37. Not having any paintings at home because you gave all of them away.
  38. Trying a new style.
  39. Having to answer the question: “What is that?”.
  40. If is is an abstract painting.
  41. If it actually should have been a person you both know.
  42. If it is the person himself you tried to paint.
  43. The smell of oil colours.
  44. After three weeks. In your one room apartment.
  45. The drying process of oil colours.
  46. Just having one little corner of a painting you actually like.
  47. Trying to do the whole painting in that way.
  48. Not liking this one corner anymore.
  49. Never being able to stop painting so that you sit there at 3am.
  50. Falling asleep with your head on the palette, a brush in your hair and your arm on the canvas. Good night.


All of these things have happened to me. With which of them do you identify?

Have a lovely weekend.




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