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10 Tips for Following an Art Video Tutorial

Are you an art tutorial junkie like me? I love creating, but I also love watching others create and try to pick up a new technique or learn about a new medium from time to time. Some of my favorite places to find new tutorials are Skillshare,* YouTube and Pinterest. After watching literally 100's of video tutorials, I find that there are several things I almost always do when following along. I am sharing these 10 tips with you today. (*If you follow that link to Skillshare, you can get one free month on me!)

In honor of the new lunar year of 2023 and it's animal, the rabbit, let me walk you thru my tips as I documented them while following along with the Let's Make Art tutorial on YouTube, hosted by Sarah Cray. The video is an easy to follow watercolor rabbit in real time that lasts only 45 minutes. I invite you to watch it for yourself while you test out my 10 tips.

Tip #1: Check out the information provided in the video description BEFORE watching. There are often lists of supplies used, paint colors and sometimes even a traceable that you can download to use for your own painting. By checking this out before, I don't waste time while watching the video to make these lists for myself if they've already been generously provided by the artist.

Tip #2: Watch the video all of the way through without trying to paint along.

Tip #3: Take notes. Write down tidbits that will be important when you create your painting as well any general tips & tricks that can apply to your success in future paintings.

Tip #4: Take screen shots when watching for the first time. If watching on my computer, then I will simple hit the "print screen" button and paste it into Paint, then save it to my computer. Alternatively if watching on my iPad, I'll take a screen shot and save to my photos. Do this at different phases of the painting so you can have reference points at different stages of the process.

Tip #5: Slow down the speed of the video when doing your paint along. Additionally, pause the video until you catch up.

Tip #6: Don't expect your painting to look like theirs - just like your handwriting is unique to you, your brushstrokes, how you load paint onto your brush and how you apply it to the canvas/paper are part of your unique style. Embrace it.

Tip #7: Remember the artist is probably not painting this subject for the first time. Most do a practice run and work out the kinks before actually filming the process. Paint your version once to work out the kinks and make edits to your notes from the video, then paint it again for success.

Tip #8: Put your stamp on it. Use color, orientation, brush size and shape or even a different medium to add your distinctive style to their inspiration.

Tip #9: Use what you have. Don't feel you need to run out and get the exact shade of red, or exact brush the artist is using to be successful. Following a video tutorial is a learning and experimenting process, not an exercise in exact reproduction.

Tip #10: Don't compare your beginning to someone else's middle!

I hope you find at least a few of these tips helpful and will implement them the next time you set out to follow an art video tutorial. Feel free to leave me a comment on what tip(s) you find most helpful or other tips that you use.

If you live around the middle area of Tennessee and would like to attend an in person class, I teach regularly in Spring Hill and Franklin. Jump over to my workshops page to find information on upcoming workshops - or jump over to the shop to find original artwork, notecards and journals for sale.

Happy Painting!

P.S. Here's the painting I made from following the tutorial. My eyelashes and whiskers got a little bit out of control. I had never used a "script liner" brush before! It was fun nonetheless.

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