Three Creativity Challenges to Improve Your Art

Keiko Yasuoka’s paintings take you to many places. Winter mountain ranges, a busy evening in San Fancisco, a sublime bay with sailboats waiting for dawn to break, just to name a few. And these are just her landscapes.

Her still life paintings are simply beautiful; and they vary in style, making an interesting collection of work. Keiko is featured in Watercolor Artist (February 2013). In case you haven’t bought your copy yet, I’d like to share her recommended creativity challenges that are meant to inspire you to take your work to new places.

Parasol, watercolor painting by Keiko Yasuoka

Parasol (watercolor on paper, 16×24) by Keiko Yasuoka

Keiko’s creativity challenges

• Limit your palette when starting your next piece. Using three or four colors will help ensure harmony throughout your painting and strengthen your color-mixing skills.

• Toss your photograph aside after you’ve blocked in the main elements of your painting. Because no photograph can accurately capture the colors found in nature, it’s best to rely on your knowledge and memory and just use the photograph as an occasional reference.

• Try something different from your usual [art] workshops. Take a pottery class, work with mixed media for a month or break out your colored pencils. Having a range of experiences to draw upon can help you master techniques that are effective across media and subject matter.

Julie Gilbert Pollard is another talented artist who shares traditional watercolor painting techniques and tips for achieving a loose, painterly quality. Explore more in her book, Watercolor Unleashed: New Directions for Traditional Painting Techniques. After you’ve tried one of Keiko’s challenges above, tell me about it! My favorite is the third; I think it’s vital to try new things–in art and life.

Until next time,
Cherie

Learn more about Keiko Yasuoka in Watercolor Artist and through her website, www.2collaboratingartists.com.

Cherie Haas, online editor**Click here to subscribe to the Artists Network newsletter for inspiration, instruction, and more!