6 creative ways to inspire your inner artist using paintbrushes
Many people think that creativity is a gift given to people like Pablo Picasso, Claude Monet, Frida Kahlo, Vincent Van Gogh and many other known and unknown talented painters. But is that really true? Is creativity given to some, but not to others?
Absolutely NOT. I am glad to inform you that this is not true. There are a few facts that show the opposite. Before I give you a few super-cool ideas of how to inspire your inner artist with paint, brushes, on different surfaces and with different media, I would love to share these facts with you.
Fact N 1. The architecture of the brain
The brain is the most complex organ in our body. It is responsible not only for all human organs and functions of the body, but also for our minds and souls. Even though it is so complex, the functions of the brain can be explained simply by dividing it into two halves, left and right.
In general, the left part of the brain controls speech, comprehension, arithmetic, and writing. The right part of the brain controls creativity, spatial ability, artistic, and musical skills. The left part of the brain is dominant in hand use and language in about 92% of people.
We all have left and right sides of our brains, right? Therefore, we are all creative by default. The only thing which sets apart creative from “non-creative” people is that the “non-creative” ones simply neglect the right side of their brains by not doing any activities to develop their strengths.
Fact N 2. We can learn to be creative
The brain is not a muscle. However, we can train our brains pretty much the same way we train our muscles. Repetitive activities which use the right side of the brain will help us to expand our brains and eventually become more creative.
The best part is, the more we practice, the more creative we become.
Fact N 3. Creativity and limits
We don’t need to be creative only when we do something like painting or crafting. Creativity is important in our everyday lives because we often have to “think outside the box” to solve a problem or to make an important decision.
The more artwork you do, the more experienced your creativity becomes, so when you need it, it will be a lot more productive. However, you can’t do some creative activities, and in a month or two just say, “OK, I am already creative enough, so I can stop now.”
I don’t want to break your heart, but the ugly truth is, we can never can be creative enough. Every new painting, every new craft project will challenge your creativity over and over again. This means that being creative will never get easier. It’s an ongoing process. https://thenextweb.com/news/11-brutal-truths-about-creativity-that-no-one-wants-to-talk-about
Now, there are many more facts about creativity, but I found those three the most exciting and motivating, as an argument to inspire someone to roll up their sleeves, grab their paintbrushes and canvas, and start creating beautiful paintings.
Let’s move on to the main part of this post: 5 awesome ideas for how to use paintbrushes to be creative with different media and surfaces. The most well-known media are acrylics, watercolours and oil paints. I will start with these.
Painting with acrylics on a different surface
Acrylic paints are the perfect medium for beginning artists, as they do not require any special techniques and materials. You basically need acrylic paints, brushes and a standard surface, a canvas.
Acrylics are based on a material called “polymer,” which is plastic. This paint dries quickly and seals to the surface. This means that as soon as it is dry you can paint over it again. This is the reason this medium is brilliant for Paint & Sip parties, as it’s quite forgiving of any mistakes. One of the things you may not know about this medium is that you can paint with acrylics on pretty much every surface: canvas, wood, stone, or glass.
You can come to our events regularly and paint different beautiful paintings, but you also can try to do some home-based projects by yourself, using the techniques we will teach you during our workshops.
Painting with acrylic in watercolour techniques
Watercolour is a specific medium that requires a bit more practise and skills. Watercolour is a medium that does not seal. That makes it a bit difficult for beginners or people without painting experience.
However, mixing acrylic paint with a little bit more water will develop the same effect. To create your watercolour masterpiece, you will need watercolour paper instead of canvas, and a primer to cover the canvas before you start painting. For this technique, you don’t need a lot of paint as you are going to mix the paint with a lot of water. The best subjects to paint are: under the sea, galaxy, abstracts or flowers.
Another wonderful way of using acrylic paints that is very popular at the moment is acrylic pouring. What is great about this technique is that every single painting is a one-of-a-kind masterpiece that cannot be replicated.
The painting itself looks very much like marble and during the creative process you can add metallic colours like gold or silver, and you can add a little bit of glitter and so on.
You will need either ready-to-use acrylic paint for pouring or you can mix any acrylic paints with “Pouring fluid” in a ratio of 50/50. You need a surface to pour on like canvas, wooden board or anything else you’d like. Remember, this is still an acrylic medium, so you can use it on almost any surface.
There are quite a few interesting techniques, but if you are a beginner, start with “dirty pouring” or “puddle pouring.” Both techniques are for beginners.
For dirty pouring, you have to mix all paints in one cup, pour over the canvas and move the canvas to create your own piece.
For puddle pouring, you need to mix the colours on the canvas before you start moving the canvas.
Both techniques are super fun and the results are incredibly beautiful.
Painting with wine
I LOVE wine, so when I discovered this wonderful technique I was stunned by how amazing things can be done with only wine and paintbrushes.
There is one incredible artist, Marina Ren Taotao have a look at what she does with wine.
I am a massive wine lover, so I can tell you that painting with wine is a super enjoyable and interesting experience.
In Merriment Atelier, we have a few workshops with painting with wine- a virtual workshop, a painting with wine in-person private parties and team bonding workshops in combination with wine tasting.
If you’d like to give it a try, check out our virtual workshops or request a private party.
Trying to paint with wine at home can be fun too. What you need to know is that different wines give different colours, so if you want to experiment you may want to try to paint with merlot, cabaret or rioja for lighter shades, and I use Malbec or pinot noir for darker shades.
Sometimes, depending on the project, I reduce the wine, so I can get even darker colours, or add some wine dye to get the same effect.
Painting with wine is like monochrome painting. The good thing is you can build the colour and make it more intense. For this technique, you have to use primarily watercolour painting techniques – wet on wet or wet on dry.
Painting with coffee
I love coffee as much as I love wine, so discovering that coffee can be a medium to paint was also an amazing experience for me. We have the same workshops with coffee as with wine.
However, painting with coffee requires different techniques. The coffee has more intensity and darker colour, especially if you are using an instant coffee over a brewed one.
If you’d like to try it at home, use instant coffee to start with. This will give you more bold and intense shades. Once you master the techniques with instant coffee you can experiment with americano, espresso and brewed coffee. The same as with the wine, the different ways of preparing the coffee will give you different shades.
To make different shades of coffee minimum, you just need to mix one teaspoon of coffee with a small amount of water, another one with a medium amount of water and one more with more water. You easily can create a lot more shades by experimenting with the quantity of water you add to the coffee.
Painting with tea
Another organic medium to paint with is tea. Various teas both loose and in bags produce not only different shades but also colours.
Unlikely wine and coffee, tea can give you some more creative options.
Like coffee, the more you brew the tea, the more intense the colour becomes. As a basic, you can use English breakfast, particularly Tetley and Yorkshire teas, for achieving red and orange-brown tones. South African Rooibos tea will give you a bit more reddish colours. Macha will give you a nice green colour, but green tea itself will turn a bit more brown.
Herbal teas are lighter and they then fade quite quickly, so don’t expect them to offer you intense colours.
Definitely try as many different teas as you can so you can explore many different options.
One more thing: surprisingly, the tea changes colour if you add a little bit of alcohol to it, such as brandy, rum or whiskey.
My favourite thing about the last three mediums is that you can sip and paint with the same material; isn’t that wonderful?
To be creative is easy, but can feel a bit scary at the beginning. The reason is that for many years we keep repeating to ourselves – I am not creative, I have two left hands when it comes to painting, I cannot do this.
But as Kurt Vonnegut once said “To practice any art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow. So do it.”
So, tell me which one of those painting ideas you like the most?
Leave me a comment below and share it with me.