It’s so easy to give in to buying art materials thinking that more of art materials you own, better would be your artwork. Nothing could be further from the truth.
There are many ways to create good artwork with limited art materials and tools. Have a look at this limited palette painting created by artist John Magne Lisondra. His videos show how he’s able to create beautiful paintings buts with limited palette made of 3 primary colours, white and black.
Check out the link explaining his technique: https://youtu.be/uMxssCDdFoE
Find alternatives for paint supplies. Explore the hidden potential in unconventional items found in salvage yards and op shops. Old metal pans and garden tools make excellent surfaces for oils, acrylic and variety of permanent marker pens. Check out the following link:
Examine the plastics that are going in your recycle bin – question if these can be reused for paint storage or water containers to clean brushes. You could also recycle your canvases by gessoing them. As Gumble suggests, “If you are not yet at a stage where you can sell your work, you can do art on and with almost anything. You could draw on kraft paper, for instance, or other perishable or light sensitive materials until you reach a point where you want your work to last”.
Artist Lee Hammond discusses on her blog on how her ‘favourite palette is one that she found at the corner Dollar Store. A tray made for condiments or chips came with a very slick plastic surface, enabling the paint to peel right off. Being light weight, it was also easy to hold, and the wells in it were perfect for mixing colours. Being plastic she found it was great to use for both oils and acrylics’.
So look for unconventional surfaces to express your creativity, save money while helping reduce waste going into landfill!
If you’re lacking skills to paint a particular subject then hop online and search. The web offers an abundance of information and you can find a variety of resources to suit skills of any level. From paid online tutorials, eBooks to free videos of art techniques, it’s all available and quiet a few for free. For example: YouTube has free tutorials where many artists generously share their skills and showcase their work. Make use of this generosity and aim to pay it forward.
And the last one…Not quite an art tip but an apt quote for anyone who’s struggling to create something in life but faced with limitations. So apart from budget constraints other aspects (such as undesired life situations, creative blocks, or lack of skills) can make it challenging to achieve the results you seek. Someone I once knew in the arts scene, always reminded us that it’s possible to find solutions if we took a chance at pursuing our goals despite the hurdles.
This particular lady (inspiration for this tip) had lost her ability to walk after numerous surgeries over a decade. But she was well-known in the community for her positive attitude, smile and zest for life. Her mobility issues did not stop or define her – or rather she didn’t allow it to. She was a familiar sight around the town on her gopher, handing out lollies, stopping to say hello and spreading sunshine!
At our weekly art meet, she would struggle to get off her gopher and into our art studio… but the smile never left her face. And when she finally made it to her designated spot – she would thank those around her and then add ‘there’s a way around everything if you put your mind to it”.
So whatever is preventing you from creating, stop and look around. Ask yourself what else you might do to get around the problem. If you don’t seek cost-effective solutions to art expression, you’ll never find innovative ways to continue creating unhindered by budget constraints.
And while you’re ‘finding’ and ‘seeking’ ways to nurture your creative side on a budget, enjoy the process. Leave the outcomes to a bit of serendipity and magic.
Do you have a tip to share for artist on a budget? Share them in your comments below :)!