Tuesday, April 26, 2022

Painting Alone or in Company

I posed the following questions to my Instagram followers. "What do you like most about painting with friends. Are there challenges for you when you sketch with others? Do you prefer painting alone?"

Here are some of the responses. Please share yours in the comments.

I enjoy painting with other people because it’s motivating and inspiring, I always learn something new painting with others. I also like painting alone because it’s more meditative and introspective. It’s nice to switch it up depending on how I’m feeling

Alone. I’m a solitary artist. I can’t seem to get into the zone as easily when I’m painting with other artists. Plus when I paint I’m slower than most plein air artists.

I like both but with it is fun and interesting with others, different eyes, colors and techniques for the ‘same’ scene. It amazes me sometimes at how differently we all see the same thing.

I've given instructions to my little brother when painting, but I've never painted with anyone where I could just paint, so I guess, idk 🤔

I do both regularly. Together and alone. For me painting with my friends it's much more about the social aspect as about painting. And I enjoy it a lot everytime.

My favorite painting partner is my wife. Although our styles differ greatly we inspire each other and become better artists. It’s great to paint with someone, it allows me to see another perspective.

I prefer painting alone.
Less distraction, less need to make sure they’re doing well.

I like to paint alone because if a friend is around I do more talking than painting.

I don’t paint with friends often. I like the idea of painting with friends, I do think that could bring new energy and new ideas to my work. Having said that I feel like it takes all of my attention and ability to focus to paint effectively. So it’s hard for me to imagine doing my best with others around. My painting sessions feel like a solitary and serous activity for the most part. Maybe I’ll try and get together with some folks for some more relaxed en plein air painting soon to lighten it up :)

Hi James - I’d probably give a good limb to go out painting with you. I was sketching with my son this weekend in the woods and it was awesome just being together. I also like sketching with experienced sketchers as they know the value of sketchbook time and so interruptions are usually infrequent.

I tend to work alone with less distraction, but working with others can be nice for the encouragement and fun.

The challenge is we tend to get focused and very quiet. But it’s nice being in other’s presence. Or we get too chatty and call it a wash, pun intended :)

The fellowship can be good painting with others and it’s always nice to see how other painters approach the same subject without it devolving into a competition. Painting solo is also good as it enhances concentration. So I’ll say both approaches work.

That’s my favorite piece on your feed, I loved watching you make it back in the day. However, I always paint alone but not as a active choice

Beautiful painting Sir! Challenges while painting with artists friends, sometimes I end up watching them painting throughout the session. This leaves me with many incomplete paintings. Few times discussion about few topics go on for long and both end up with incomplete works. With experience I feel painting alone works for me!

Im taking a painting class next semester im excited about

I’m a talker! I get distracted and get nothing done 😂 and I probably distract those I’m with 😮

It reminds me a bit of Richard Williams's advice in the Animator's Survival Kit where he recommends artists to unplug music and shut the door for complete concentration. The best work is probably produced alone... But drawing/painting with friends provides some good vibes or feelings or maybe even dopamine. Amazing painting!

I like both, but they are different experiences. Each week I go out with urban sketchers, but also on my own to paint.

Its nice to get opinions from friends as you're painting! A friend encouraged me to make some shadows purple for fun and it worked out nicely. But mostly I paint alone and enjoy the challenge of trying to see as my eyes do

This looks amazing! I sketched with somebody maybe once or twice. Don't know many artists personally... But it was a nice experience.

I'm hoping to get to paint with friends this summer!! It's not something I've had a chance to do since getting back into art a few years ago! 🤞

I love painting plein air with my kids. Sometimes, I’m really lucky and we all get to sit and focus intently… magic happens

I find painting (or any discipline) with friends to be refreshing, joyful . Though I find it limiting for going as deeply into my craft as if I had no constraints (constraints on time, on getting to those weird cool spots, etc)


I miss my weekly ‘painting with friends’ sessions. It kept me painting regularly and I got good feedback from them. Was always fun to see how different each of our paintings came out.

I love painting with friends it shows me things I can improve on with my technique or a new way to tackle a subject

Alone. Too much performance anxiety.

wow I love this painting!! This as a print would be reaaaally cool! 😍😍❤️🔥

For the most part I do tend to paint alone as I do prefer being able to focus on the painting and allowing myself to be absorbed by my surroundings as it's incredibly relaxing, however I do sometimes go painting with my partner however besides that I've got no one else to paint outside with around my area as there's not a community for it besides myself

I think it helps, long term, to draw & paint with people around. The world is full of folks. I enjoy sharing the experience even if it means my focus gets shifted at times.

I only wish to have just one friend that paints or draw, I think I would love to challenge ourselves as I like healthy competition 🙌

My likeminded friends

Am yet to try painting still practicing my pencil skills, maybe it's because am not that good I prefer doing it alone if am with friends then I'd appreciate if they didn't check on me every second 😅

Both have an appeal at different times. Sometimes I love the chat and seeing what they have done. That said sometimes I prefer the peace of painting alone, or listening to a good audio book.

I would be happy to actually find time to get outdoors and paint. Hard to do when I work a day job in retail. Going to try hard this year to paint plen air on some of my off days.


tos14 said...

I haven’t painted with other people since art school classes 36 years ago. I think the social aspect is one of the things that now attracts me to the idea of plein air painting, after painting in solitude all these years. I hope to try it with others one day.

Painting Spider said...