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Hi all, after watching Mark's videos and signing up to this forum a while ago I thought that I'd be posting regularly and making progress with my paintings. However, the main issue I'm having with with my own patience! After feeling that I definitely wanted to commit to learning Mark's method fully without cutting corners I found myself getting frustrated and taking short cuts. I went away from the DMP method and have been very unhappy with my paintings. 

I started lacking confidence that I could learn the method and wanted instant results. I've had a good talk to myself and now I'm back on track. I'm going to stick to this method fully until I master it. I watched some videos again and started to feel all fired up. Then yesterday I started a painting and once again was being a bit lazy with the technique. Today I'm going to try to be far more disciplined. I know though that I'm going to be struggling against myself. It's crazy because I want to learn this technique more than anything but then I sit down to paint and patience is still an issue. 

Has anyone else struggled against themselves in this way? And have you managed to overcome it - to increase your patience and discipline? Any tips? 


  • Welcome to the forum! If you continue to come back here, we will help you with encouragement. Just keep on painting, don't stop. I learned through Mark's videos to just simply, gently push my way through until I got there, it works for me.
  • Thank you for your comment! It seems silly to me that I can want to do something so much but then struggle with the patience to see it through. I'll keep trying though. That's my new years resolution - no short cuts
  • edited January 2018
    Exactly! this is precisely how it worked for me, beginning just a little more than 1 year ago. It didn't take a whole year to get going though. You're in the right place and very much on the right track. I also encourage you to continue watching Mark's videos on a regular basis, listening to his voice and what he is saying, they are the best!
  • I thought learning to paint better would be to do with learning new techniques rather than battling with my own personality. But I guess a massive part of producing good paintings is patience and determination. I'm going to keep watching the videos, keep having words with myself and keep drinking lots of tea. Thanks again for your messages! 
  • You may want to begin a painting and share with us as you go, and let us encourage you, this will help a lot. This may seem intimidating at first, it takes courage and it's all good.
  • Thank you both. I really appreciate that! I've been painting all day. I ended up wiping the canvas in frustration. So no work to show for today. Will try again tomorrow. I really tried today. Mixed up all the colour groups before starting, colour checked throughout, took my time with it and really focused. Doing a terrible painting when you're really trying is worse than doing one because you've been lazy with the technique. Oh well. It's very early days. Maybe next time I will post as I go along to see what I'm doing wrong. Thanks again both!
  • ANorris said:
    Maybe next time I will post as I go along to see what I'm doing wrong. Thanks again both!
    I find that if I do too much in one sitting, it all starts to go wrong.  I have much more success when I make a little progress then step back and switch to a different painting.  I have many going on at the same time, and although this does make progress very slow, it does mean I spend some time thinking about the next steps, and being more deliberate about what I'm trying to achieve each time.

    Speed doesn't seem to go well with DMP for me.  You spoke of learning new techniques, and I think that slow deliberate moves is the technique.
  • ANorris said:
     Doing a terrible painting when you're really trying is worse than doing one because you've been lazy with the technique. 
    I actually think the opposite.  Do a painting.  Learn how to do the painting.  Do another painting, its better.  Do another painting.  The workflow begins to flow.  The color checking gets easier.  Do another painting.  After 10 paintings you will really have something.  When you are lazy you get lazy results and can always expect about the same.

    Here is the secret I want you to internalize about Marks technique.  It is built for speed.  Therefore if you are an impatient person who wants fast results, this is the way for you to do it.  You will learn faster and in the end you will paint much faster.

    When I started it took me 6 weeks to do a decent portrait.  Now I can create a very nice painting in 8 hours.  Its not a masterpiece, for that you must learn patience as well.  

    Here is a tip.  Paint one thing.  just an egg, or an orange.  post it warts and all.  the forum will help.

    Welcome and enjoy the journey.

    @dencal - The brush stroke, the flow of the line and the spectral lustre encloses the minute, the hour and the day.  Right on brother.
  • Great advice from all! Much appreciated. I felt a bit disheartened earlier but this has really helped. When I get disheartened or frustrated I tend to change method, try to look for an easier way of painting - instead of pushing through. But this time I'm going to keep pushing through. Today I was working from a still life which is no longer set up. Think I'll try to paint something different next time. My passion is painting people but I'm trying to get better at the DMP technique on small items first before tackling people. 

    Now that I'm feeling more positive I think that I probably did make progress today. It was better than my last painting using this method so it's going in the right direction - even though it was still awful. If a painting is going badly I have a bad habit of wiping the painting off the canvas. 

    I try to paint when my children are at school so I don't have much time. I think it leads to me rushing and putting too much pressure on myself. And I have been trying to finish each painting in one day so I think I need to give myself longer when I'm at this stage! Mark obviously makes it look very easy and I've been expecting too much too soon. He can do an amazing painting in an hour but I've got to accept that the same painting could take me weeks. 

    I've not thought about having a few paintings on the go at the same time. That could stop me over working a painting and force me to go through the steps more thoroughly. 

    Today I tried to use a bigger brush but maybe I should go back to a smaller one. I've also got to find a balance between painting realism with extreme attention to detail...but then try to let myself paint 'ugly' in parts without over working. 

    I suppose all of this will become more clear once I've got a few more paintings behind me. Thank you all. You've helped more than you know. I'll definitely think of the advice given before attempting my next painting.

  • I've been enjoying reading people's responses in this thread and I'm also benefiting from all this great advice :) 

    The only thing I wanted to add is to keep in mind that, even with the DMP method, paintings tend to look pretty bad until the canvas is completely covered. I don't know if you've been stopping before then, but I used to have a bad habit of wiping off or throwing away canvases when I didn't feel a painting was working. But often, if you can stop yourself from judging your painting until it's completely done you'll find it usually only needs a couple minor refinements and then you'll be proud of how it came out. 
  • Great advice again. You reminded me of something said in one of Mark's videos which I'd forgotten about. Today when I decided to wipe the canvas it was when I'd only painted one part. So I'll definitely try to not do that next time! Thank you. 
  • We share the same affliction where it comes to impatience. I have not found a cure. I only know that if I set my mind to painting for a few hours, disaster will arrive before I get up. So I draw or paint for only a little while; maybe half an hour, then evaluate... go do something else for a short time then come back and evaluate again. Sometimes I resume painting, sometimes I go watch TV and wait till the next day to resume. Try not to think of what the painting is supossed to look like as a whole while you are painting. Think only of that one area you need to fill in.  I wouldn't think in terms of finishing a painting in one day unless it is the size of a playing card. The other truism that beginners have learned the hard way is you love your painting untill that first dab of paint hits the canvas then you start to hate it with each next stroke untill sometime when it is nearly finished and you start to say to yourself "it's not as bad as I thought it would be." Go slow. but keep going.
  • More great advice! Thank you. Next time I'm going to paint much slower. A few days a week when the kids aren't here I lock myself away to paint. I feel like I have to use every minute so I tend to stay at my easel without breaks or food etc. Then I drive myself mad! Having written on this forum it now seems silly that I've been trying to finish a painting within a day. If I hadn't written today I would probably have carried on that way for a bit. 

    Ha, I totally understand what you said about loving your painting until you start to paint! Confidence issues, impatience, self doubt, laziness, the artists curse...maybe it's all more psychology that art! 

    I really feel like I've been steered in the right direction today and hopefully soon I'll be posting photos of some progress. Many thanks!
  • Thank you for contributing so much with us today!
  • Lack of patience is a curse, and common. It is always so tempting to try and take a short-cut but in my experience it always ends in tears. Happened to me only last night actually, where I got cocky and tried to mix on the fly, which ended up wasting a lot of time, before I got back on track. I think the trick is to be conscious of when that happens and then be able to pull back. I think having the DMP method to follow makes that easier. I use @BOB73's approach - regular breaks and lots of evaluation, and just focusing on one small area at a time. 

    dencal said:
    The brush stroke, the flow of the line and the spectral lustre encloses the minute, the hour and the day.
    Words to live by...
  • I too am new to this and this new way of painting. I understand your impatience.  At least I'm not alone ;-)

  • dencal said:
    The brush stroke, the flow of the line and the spectral lustre encloses the minute, the hour and the day.
    Words to live by...
    @dencal, you are a poet!
  • Feeling very lucky to be part of this forum. Every single comment has helped - whether its the advice on how to overcome these problems or just knowing that I'm not the only one having them. Hope I'll be able to help others on here one day! 

    Next time I'm going to try to paint something small like an egg or one piece of fruit. And I'm going to try to forget what it is - just abstract shapes, colour and values. 

    I'm really going to slow down - even if it takes weeks to finish. I'm going to take my time with it and have regular breaks. I'll also share photos however bad it turns out. I've gone from feeling very negative yesterday to very positive today. I was definitely attempting paintings with the wrong attitude. Mindfulness next week!
  • edited January 2018
    Painting is very similar to meditation. Distractions will come but you have to be focused on what you are doing.

    The process is most important rather than the goal. If you notice, even in life, when we follow a process deeply and rigorously we become masters of the craft; be it hunting, farming, running a company, music or painting. Constant practice by following a method will reveal the truth but it won't happen in a day. So, I suggest not to deviate from Mark's method. When you fell that you can't go on then stop and paint after some time but don't leave the method.
  • Thanks Kaustav. I'm definitely going to stick with Mark's method now. When I've left it it's been for the wrong reasons - impatience. I've also been focusing on wanting a finished painting more than on the process. Recipe for disaster. Looking forward to the next painting now. Whether it turns out well or awfully I'll be learning and hopefully moving in the right direction. 
  • I am nearing the end of my first DMP painting, and it has been a roller coaster. I started out executing the first object by following the process closely. Then I got excited and went right off the track on the second object. Had to go back and scrape part of that one off. Third object pretty much on plan. Fourth object I got excited again and went off track. There are eight objects in my painting (too many for a first effort I have learned), and now have to revert to the wet in dry method to go back and fix half if the things I started! So yeah @ANorris discipline is going to be the key! For my second painting I promise myself a great composition of three objects. I look forward to seeing your work!
  • Discipline is definitely going to be my main hurdle I think. If only I wanted to do a different painting style but nope - I want to learn realism. I'll remember what you said when I get excited again and go off track.

    I watched an interesting video of Mark's today - creative vs critical mode. It made a lot of sense. I love the idea of a painting and want it to magically appear. Then I get too impatient. When I start and it doesnt match the image in my head I become too disheartened and end up destroying it rather than pushing on through  I'm going to have to find a balance. 

    8 Im going back to basics. I'm thinking of an egg or a lemon next week. See if my patience can cope with that!

    Good luck with your painting!
  • And I really like what @Kaustav said about painting in this way being like meditation. I find it to be that way also, the more so as I focus on the process rather than the outcome.
  • Definitely! Losing yourself in the technique sounds much healthier than spending time frustrated about outcomes. 
  • I'd like to lose myself in the technique of eating a steak. When I lose myself in painting, I go off track as you say.
  • Yes, not to be too new agey but being present in the moment with the paint is the only way for me to stay on track.
  • @ANorris I am saying this because when you see results in your work after the initial hard work, you'll be craving for more. Things will be more difficult when you know more but you already acquired the taste and will take the difficulty as a challenge. You'll feel good about yourself and it will show in your work too.
  • If I don't get in a strop and wipe the canvas that'll be an improvement! Maybe the discipline will get easier when I start to see the improvement in my paintings. For now I'm going to do my best. Watch this space...probably an awful egg to show you next week. And hopefully something a bit less awful after that.
  • edited January 2018
    @ANorris, there is nothing awful about our first attempts, we are just trying to get to working something out through using Mark's method of oil painting until we are able to work with it more confidently. Take your time, and when you are ready. Enjoy!
  • ANorris said:
    ... Maybe the discipline will get easier when I start to see the improvement in my paintings.
    The message we're all sending you is this:  Follow the process.  Discipline precedes improvement.  That includes not wiping things off at the first sign of trouble, trust the process.

    Dozens of people here right now, and many hundreds before would all tell you that the process works.
  • Thanks @PaulB. I'm looking forward to getting chance to try again soon. There are such amazing paintings on this forum I can't imagine being able to paint that well but I'm now going to follow the method fully to the best of my ability. 
  • Many of us couldn't imagine painting that well until we learned to follow the method. Once we learned it to the best of our ability through practice, we advanced quite rapidly afterward.
  • This is very exciting! 
  • Everyone starts at zero and everyone thinks they are less than zero before they get to one then surprise themselves when they jump from four to ten in one painting.
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