Here's a three step list of things that are guaranteed to make you a better painter.
There's no substitute for painting. Reading about it won't do it, watching DVDs incessantly won't do it, and taking workshops one behind the other won't do it either.
If you would challenge yourself to paint at least five times a week, i know for a fact that you'd be so much better in three months that you'd be ashamed of what you've done up to this point in your art career.
How do i know this?
It started when i read a book on painting by Kevin McPherson and he stated that to get really good, you needed to do 100 "starts," which are small paintings where you block-in the scene. Finishing is not important. It's getting the big shapes in, in the proper value and color note. They should only take about 45 minutes to complete.
The rub was that you had to do it in 90 days. thats one a day and two on some days. what i learned from this was that you could see the vast improvement for yourself from #1 to #50 and then from #50 to #100. It was awe inspiring. The fringe benefit was that i learned painting discipline and to not let errands, or personal issues, or lack of inspiration derail me. I was going to do it! some days i had to do four to catch up if i HAD to take a day or two off from painting for something important.
four years later i still love to paint at least one painting everyday! and all you have to do is look at my stuff from four years ago and you'll see that painting, painting, painting is the sure-fire way to get better in a short period of time.
So go do #1 today and don't stop 'til you hit 100 three months from now! You'll be glad you did!
Take the challenge and post your work on our Flickr Page
Mike Rooney Painting Every Day