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Paint like Picasso

Our stressed-out lives demand some sort of sanity and most recently this sort of therapy has emerged with an onset of a slew of creative pursuits. Trends have included colouring books, crafts, pottery, and painting. These are all things we did as kids (and loved them), now as adults, it makes sense for us to go back to that happy place.

People who know the writer in me, may not be privy to the fact that I pursued a lot of art growing up, evening winning a competition or two. But over the years, in pursuit of a career path and long work hours, I haven't painted as much as I would like. Once in a while, I frequent my favourite art stores like Deserres and Curry's and buy myself a range of art supplies. 

I recently acquired DK's book Artist's Painting Techniques, and it's just the inspiration I needed to make my part-time hobby into a full-time obsession. Growing up, I never really had any proper textbooks on art theory and techniques. We followed the teacher's guidance and survived beautifully. But now, all those years later, because memory is complicated and at a fleeting distance, I was thrilled to get more than a crash course, and revisit my sanity and creativity. 

Don't worry, this is not a beginner's crash course in painting. It's a step-by-step workshop from professional artists. Artist's Painting Techniques is actually divided into three sections: Beginner Techniques, Intermediate Techniques and Advanced Techniques. So whatever level you are at, you can grow as an artist.

Artistry begins with the art of seeing, and in Artist's Painting Techniques, the Basics starts with developing a technique that every artist should be keenly aware of, namely Observational Skills. 

This is as the book describes, more than simply replicating a subject with photographic accuracy. As an artist, you have the license to move, alter, emphasize, or exclude elements of your choosing. The art of seeing is not just about capturing what is in front of you, it's also about interpreting it in your own way.

From understanding colour theory to a step-by-step guide to pencil drawing and shading, you will be well on your way to improving your creative pieces. 

As you get into more Advanced Techniques, the topics become varied and more interesting, challenging you to explore and interpret intricate details of painting, like painting fur and conveying the wild nature of your subject with textural brushstrokes. 

Boldly explore watercolours, acrylics and oils, with confidence, once you follow the step-by-step instructions. Simple enough to understand and inspiring enough to keep you motivated.