How do you get better with your painting?

It is called practice.

Marsha Hamby Savage
7 min readNov 12, 2020


Photo courtesy of Marsha Hamby Savage, The Artist

Painting is what I do. Study and practice is something I embrace! It is called miles of brushwork if you are a two-dimensional artist.

I know it is a complement if someone says to me: “I wish I had your talent.” Talent does not necessarily get you from point “A” to point “B”, but practice will!

If you do another kind of art, then you know there are skills you need to internalize by doing them over and over. And over! Learning to embrace the small things needed to do your kind of artwork is essential. We all talk about it being the journey, and not the destination.

I’m going to say it one more time. The more you do what you want to learn, the more it will become second nature. Then you can move on to the next theory, the next idea, or the next level.

Each theory, each new idea, builds on the ones before it!

The love of our own individual process is the joy and the intent. Believe me, we each have our own pathway. The bright spot is that you are always changing and growing. It is never boring or stagnant! Learn to love the doing of what you have chosen to do!

It took me a long time to learn to embrace the frustration, the mistakes, the failed attempts, etc. Those are the most important aspects of our learning. We learn more by those things we don’t do right, than those we do right and not know why it worked.

Having one work easily and turn out like our vision, our intent, makes up for the past ten that did not quite make it. That makes all the mistakes worth it

A story for illustration of this idea. Call this a mini-lesson!

Something many students tend to push to the back of their minds, is that painting requires some drawing skills. Well? That means you need to sketch and doodle as often as possible.

I was teaching a student recently. Our normal procedure is for her to bring in work she has done and we discuss the artwork. We take probably 30 to 45 minutes at least where we talk about those images. With the discussion and question about what else she has been doing, I ask if there are issues that seem to keep coming up.



Marsha Hamby Savage

I am an Artist! Being an artist feels like I have a connection to nature. I am also writing a book about being an artist! My website: