Deliberate Practice

Lately, I have been really struggling to find the time to do art! It’s spring, for real, now, here in Pennsylvania and I suspect that has something to do with it! I home school my three kids that also has something to do with it – a lot, actually!

And so, there have been more days than usual where I reach the last couple of hours of the day and I realise ~ I didn’t do any Art today!! Sometimes that realization spurs me on to a quick, 45 minute session and other times I go to try, and find I am just too exhausted to focus.

Still – until life calms down a bit – I try to do my best to ‘show up’ most days and do something, even if it is just a little.  A quick face from ; a preliminary sketch of a new idea, an art challenge from the art forum I belong to (

A lot of this kind of thing is what is considered to be deliberate practice – time I spend alone, wrestling with areas that I deem in need of work and improvement. Faces and figures, that is what I work on as the focus of my practice. I practice other things too, but not as consistently.  The picture above is from my almost weekly hour or so on (which I am sure you have heard me mention before on at least a couple of occasions in the last two months!)  This time I thought I would change it up by using Raw Umber and Titanium Acrylic paint on a toned background (sort of a ploy to keep myself picking up my brushes a bit more often too!) I am happy to say I am finally done with my sloppy old tube of W&N Galeria Titanium White and have now cracked open a large pot of the same colour in W&N Pro instead…It’s lovely! Titanium White is the must have of Acrylic painters – so splash out and get some good quality stuff!

Gestural figure painting worked awesomely and was FUN!! Gesture drawing with a paint brush ~ Must do THAT again and soon!

What do YOU do to keep it fresh and keep showing up to practice at the things you find challenging?





4 thoughts on “Deliberate Practice

    1. Yes Phil, it’s as simple of that, just showing up, regularly and trying to focus on what you think is the thing you need to work on or practice and then, if inspiration happens, you’ll be ready!


    1. Practice is not very glamorous, is it?! I have had to force myself to do it, many,many, times but sometimes it’s kind of a relief because you start to say to yourself “this doesn’t have to be perfect, it’s just practice” and you loosen up and good things come from it! (after all, you have to MAKE mistakes in order to learn from them and where better to make a mistake than in practice?) I also think the desire to produce a ‘masterpiece’ is either, or both, the product of a society where we all feel pressure to ‘sell ourselves’ (especially on public social media) and the desire to do this thing we love as perfectly as we can possibly manage!

      Liked by 1 person

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