43 Comments
Apr 25Liked by Nino van Vuuren

Very helpful suggestions to help reduce anxiety/fear of making mistakes for freer art making:). Thank you!!

Expand full comment
author

Thank you! I’m glad that you find them helpful. Here’s to more anxiety free art making!

Expand full comment

I’d like to practice drawing animals that aren’t cute! Or practice drawing them in a less cute way. But maybe that’s just my thing haha. I do enjoy it! I think what I mean is to maybe be more patient and considered in my pieces.

Expand full comment
author

Since you love animals, I can absolutely understand why your animals end up so cute every time.

Patience is a tough one to learn, but so valuable. Rooting for you!

(Are there any animals that you don’t particularly like? Maybe scorpions of something dangerous? Maybe they will come out less cute.)

Expand full comment
Apr 20Liked by Nino van Vuuren

I really love this article — thank you!!! Setting small goals for myself I think will really help me enjoy the process more, rather than stressing over creating the perfect sketch or feeling like I have to show “progress”!

Expand full comment
author

I agree - I have noticed with my weekly music students, that setting one goal to work on between lessons, reaps much better results than being drowned in a million things to work on.

Expand full comment
Apr 19Liked by Nino van Vuuren

I love your approach, I am definitely going to experiment with goal setting! I think currently my goal is to practice simplifying a scene as much as possible and not trying to reflect all the tiny details. Some of my experiments are trying to grasp the feeling of the landscape with as few brush strokes as possible. Thanks a lot for sharing your wonderful sketches!

Expand full comment
author

Thank you Lisa! Easily simplifying a scene takes a lot of practise, but it is such a valuable skill to learn. Go for it!

Expand full comment

Thank you! ❤️

Expand full comment
Apr 18Liked by Nino van Vuuren

Sometimes nature or life will interfere with your sketch and at the time maybe you don’t like it but it can change your mindset so you have to improvise and often later you love what happened.

Expand full comment
author

Exactly! Embrace the raindrops on your sketch, so next time you look at it you can remember how you persevered sketching right through the bad weather.

Expand full comment
Apr 18Liked by Nino van Vuuren

It's all about our mindset before beginning, right? I have so many things I want to practice that sometimes that is my biggest issue, so at the moment I'm focusing on subjects, this month is trees. I've been sketching trees in different ways, with different materials, ultimately my goal is to find how I like to capture trees. What have been your goals lately?

Expand full comment
author

I love drawing trees, although I still want to figure out how I want to draw summer trees with lots of leaves. Maybe that will be one of my goals for this summer. One of my recent goals have been to play with a combination of negative and positive space in a sketch. I am really having a lot of fun exploring this.

Expand full comment
Jun 10Liked by Nino van Vuuren

Love your sketches, the expressive colors and bold lines differentiate them with a unique personal style.

Expand full comment
author

Thank you for the kind words and encouragement, Jo.

Expand full comment
Jun 6Liked by Nino van Vuuren

I love this so much! I recently just started sketching again, and it’s funny I sat down with my sketch book yesterday, and I picked a pose I had saved I wanted to practice.

Normally I am too focused on getting it perfect, and then I end up disappointed and frustrated because it just doesn’t look like I imagined it would. This time I realized how fun it was to draw even if it wasn’t exactly the way that it was pictured. I was learning and that was the goal, and it relaxed me. So it truly was a win.

It reminded me why I drew for hours and hours when I was younger, and I gradually got better by just the enjoyment of it.

I’m going to take these ideas into consideration and use them, the next time I draw!

Thank you so much for sharing! And especially AI free!

I’m feeling so inspired now!

Expand full comment
author

Hanna! Thank you! It makes me so happy to hear this! Hope that you find more and more enjoyment in your art in this way.

Expand full comment

I'm glad I found this article. Thank you, Nino. I’m returning to painting and drawing to reconnect with my creativity, embrace imperfections, and perhaps discover something within myself that I feel is there. It's challenging when my main obstacles are perfectionism and procrastination. I'm working on it, so thank you for the great advice. I'm going to set intentions before starting a blank page.

Expand full comment
author

I’m so thankful that I went back to drawing and painting a number of years ago, it definitely helped me to reconnect with my creativity like you said. Hope that you make some great discoveries while you are on this journey!

Expand full comment
May 5Liked by Nino van Vuuren

Thanks for this reminder! It's so easy for me to forget that creative goals--regardless of the medium or scale of the project--are allowed to be whatever I want them to be, even if it's just to play around with colours for 10 minutes. I'm someone who's tried for years to get into the habit of sketching regularly because I want to be a better visual artist, but tend to get overwhelmed and discouraged early on or just not know what steps to take next. I'll try to remember this when that happens. I also loved seeing your different sketches and the goals you had for each of them!

Expand full comment
author

Don’t know how I missed this comment of yours, Nico. But yes, you are absolutely right - you can decide what your creative goals are for a project. Even something as simple as colour swatching can have great benefits.

Expand full comment
May 3Liked by Nino van Vuuren

You are inspiring me to go out and find an urban sketching group. I used to draw in cafes quite a lot but have got lazy recently. I love the harbour sketch you have drawn on a grey day and made it into the happiest of paintings. Art always beats the weather and can make the mood of the day better, which is exactly what we need in the UK.

Expand full comment
author

It’s true what you say - art beats the weather. I often decide to use the colours that represent how I feet in the moment and not what I am actually seeing, because my feelings are also something true in that moment, not just the weather. And making art usually brings me joy.

I know there are many Urban Sketchers groups in the UK. Hope you find one close to you!

Expand full comment
May 2Liked by Nino van Vuuren

Very useful tips.

Expand full comment
author

Thanks, Jane!

Expand full comment

Waouw ! Incredible post! I love it. I note your point of vue for myself.

How inspirant! Thank you🤩

Expand full comment
author

Thank you! It is good to hear that the post inspired you.

Expand full comment

I really enjoyed this post. Thanks for sharing! I often sketch to capture a sense of place, play with scale, capture something humorous in the everyday that I have seen. It's great to have a plan at the beginning. It takes the pressure off and helps me get on with it.

Expand full comment
author

Having a plan at the beginning does help to take the pressure off, right!?

And playing with scale sounds like a fun goal/plan, I’m definitely going to try that one out sometime.

Expand full comment

Great suggestions for setting yourself up for sucess!

I once dropped my pencil sharpener and it bounced down a rocky seashore edge to who knows where. I now carry a propelling pencil as a backup.

Expand full comment
author

Thanks, Marion!

I’m always scared of sketching close to edges where my stuff can fall down into who knows where. I think my biggest fear is probably that the wind would nudge my sketchbook and leave me standing there, watching all of the sketches disappear.

Expand full comment

This is such great advice: to set intentions before you create so that you're not expecting to make something perfect! I've written about doing a similar thing (setting intentions) when working on my graphic memoir because I just needed to make progress, not make perfection. But this post helps me connect how valuable that approach is for individual sketches/pieces as well.

Expand full comment
author

Thank you, Kelcey! Yes, setting small goals does help with curbing that strive for perfection and it stops you from trying to do everything all at once. In a sense it can be quite freeing.

Expand full comment