Starting and maintaining a consistent painting habit and practice can be hard…
You know you want your art to improve, but sometimes it feels like you just can’t get motivated. Or even feel like you have enough time to be able to paint consistently – or sometimes at all!
You could watch more tutorials, read books on painting and art tips to get inspiration on what to work on… But how do you stay consistent once you’re inspired?
How do you actually put the lessons you learn into practice? Especially when you’re having a tough time with painter’s block…
Here are 7 helpful painting habit tips and time management strategies to help you start painting consistently!
Contents of this Article
Start by building painting habits
Painting consistently doesn’t mean you have to paint all the time for multiple hours in a day…
Whether you only have 30 minutes or 2 hours per day, try starting a daily painting routine. It will not only help you practice and improve, but also help you to build a good habit of painting regularly.
Helpful Tip − If you’re not able to paint daily, then try at least to paint on the same days each week.
Having a regular painting schedule is important if you want to establish a good painting habit. In this article I’ll show you exactly how you can make it work for your life situation.
Plan your painting routine
First, think carefully about what would be the best amount of time for you to paint every day. It could be just 20 or 30 minutes, or it could be three hours… Whatever works for you is fine.
This part takes some self-reflection and truthfully answering yourself if you really have this much time available to paint consistently.
Routine painting habit tips
All of us have routines and habits − some that you may not even be aware of…
Think about your daily habits and use them to your advantage!
👩🎨 If you’re a morning person perhaps plan your painting after your breakfast while you have a cup of tea or coffee.
☕️ Take a break in the afternoon and use that time to paint a little − taking breaks are one of the biggest keys to being productive that many of us omit and just “push through”.
🍷 Perhaps you feel more creative at night − turn on some music and unwind from the day. The beauty of this is it can help change the subject so to speak in your brain from the busyness of the day.
You want to keep it light, don’t overwhelm yourself with a demanding painting routine. Especially if this is your first step into starting a daily painting habit!
For myself, I schedule my painting time to start at the same time each morning. This way I can build a consistent routine that allows me to be much more productive in the long run.
How to schedule painting time
If you are busy with school or work during the weekdays, weekends are probably easier to slot in some time for painting.
Write your painting schedule on a notebook or in your phone calendar. Use whatever works for you but make sure it’s where you’ll see it every day, so that you actually remember it. Also, writing it down keeps you more accountable and makes it real. At least once per week, look at the upcoming week and plan ahead.
I also find it helpful to write down my schedule in more detail for the next day every evening. That way, I don’t waste time during the day wondering what I should do next!
Painting habit action steps to help you stick with it!
Pretty easy so far right? But what will keep you going?
You want to build a good painting habit right? Building a good, consistent painting schedule is one of the best things you can do for your paintings if you really want to improve.
Steps to help create a painting habit:
- Schedule fun activities during your “painting time” (I like to listen to audiobooks, music and podcasts when I paint). It doesn’t have to be all work, you can reward yourself for being productive with something a little extra.
- Find someone to keep you accountable! If somebody is expecting me to show them what I was working on each day, I will try my best to deliver.
- Make sure that the time you schedule for your painting is actually dedicated to just that: painting! Put your phone away and turn on some nice music.
- Be persistent and consistent, don’t give up. 30 minutes of dedicated work every day really makes a difference in the long run.
- And as always… Practice as much as you can! Don’t be afraid to try new things, keep on improving.
If you follow these steps, you will see some good results after some time. After some weeks/months of painting regularly, I promise it will become more natural for you to paint daily (or however often you are able to), without having to schedule it!
Building a consistent painting routine is much more valuable than painting a lot in one day. Taking one hour every day to paint is worth more than 8 hours in one day!
What to do during very busy seasons
We all run into seasons where taking out even the smallest bits of time to paint is nearly impossible. However, there are ways for you to keep up your painting practice even during these times.
Taking even five minutes to sketch out new ideas for paintings, is a great way to keep yourself moving forward. So that you have ideas to get started with when able to devote more time.
The important thing is to keep yourself motivated and moving forward. Even if it’s not as much as you’d like, anything you do on a daily basis will make a difference.
Balance is key! Having such an overwhelming time schedule that you don’t paint at all is not good either. Keep your motivation high and avoid letting yourself become overwhelmed or feeling guilty.
Know what inspires you
We all need motivation from time to time! That is why it is important to know what inspires you and keeps you motivated. So that you can work to build a consistent painting habit.
Your inspiration could come from; traveling, taking walks, visiting gardens, going to an art museum, or looking at art books. Practice the things that inspire you and you will naturally start to keep up your regular painting habit.
Create goals for your painting
Creating artistic goals another great way to keep yourself inspired and moving forward. If you are aimlessly working at something you will likely lose steam and stop painting. Set goals for yourself and your painting.
Know where you want to take your painting and what kind of paintings you wish to create. Doing this will help to direct your focus and ultimately make it easier to follow through with your painting habits.
So, get out a notebook and start writing down your painting schedule! Keep yourself accountable and let me know in the comment section below when you will be painting! 🙂
Helpful time management resource to help you build painting habits
I highly recommend the book, Manage Your Day-to-Day: Build Your Routine, Find Your Focus, and Sharpen Your Creative Mind. This book will show you how to manage your time and create consistency when it comes to your artistic habits. It was a great in figuring out my own schedule and setting in place, time management painting habits. I know it can also help you to set the building blocks of a great daily painting schedule and routine.
Want to remember this? Save How to Start a Painting Habit to your favorite Pinterest board!
2 thoughts on “7 Painting Habit Tips to Help You Start a Consistent Painting Habit”
If I want to paint in oils every day, how do I keep the paints from drying up? Or do I have to clean the palette every day, so wasting expensive paint?
Hi Mary, Good question. If you paint every day then you are less likely to experience your paint drying up quickly as you are using it up quicker. However, there are a couple of things you can do to slow down any drying that takes place no matter how often one paints! You could use a piece of seran wrap to cover the portion of your palette that has your colors. You can also put a very small amount of linseed oil on each color after each painting session to help it dry slower.
There are also ‘palette garages’ (you can google it) that allow you to place your colors inside a tube and then easily slide it out for the next time you paint.
I hope those tips help you! 🙂