Boost Painting Skills: 8 Career Advancing Tips
Written by  Daisie Team
Published on 9 min read


  1. Practice different techniques
  2. Seek feedback from peers
  3. Join art workshops and courses
  4. Observe and analyze artwork
  5. Create art regularly
  6. Experiment with different mediums
  7. Learn about color theory
  8. Build an online portfolio

Imagine taking your passion for painting and turning it into a rewarding career. It's not just a daydream — it's a real possibility! But first, you need to know how to improve painting for career advancement. This guide will share eight practical and easy-to-follow tips that can help you elevate your painting skills and propel your career to new heights. So, whether you're an aspiring artist or a seasoned painter looking to up your game, you'll find something of value here.

Practice Different Techniques

Think about painting like cooking. Just as a chef masters various cooking techniques to create a multitude of dishes, as a painter, you too need to learn and practice different painting techniques. This doesn't just improve your versatility — it also opens up more opportunities for career advancement in the painting world. Here's how to go about it:

  • Master the basics first: Start with the core techniques like dry brushing, underpainting, glazing, and impasto. These form the foundation of your painting prowess.
  • Step out of your comfort zone: Once you're comfortable with the basics, it's time to try something new. How about exploring pointillism, encaustic painting, or tenebrism? Exploring these techniques can not only add depth to your work but also give you new avenues to improve painting for career advancement.
  • Practice makes perfect: As cliché as it sounds, it's true. Regular practice is the key to perfecting any technique. So, paint daily, even if it's just for a few minutes.
  • Be patient: Learning a new technique can be tough, and it's easy to get frustrated. But remember, every stroke you make, every mistake you correct, brings you one step closer to becoming a better painter.

By practicing different techniques, you not only enhance your skills but also increase your chances of standing out in the competitive painting industry. So, pick up your brushes, squeeze out some paint, and start exploring!

Seek Feedback from Peers

Feedback is a powerful tool for improvement. It's like having a mirror that reflects not just what's good about your painting, but also areas where you can improve. And when it comes to painting for career advancement, the value of feedback cannot be overstated. Here's how you can leverage feedback to your advantage:

  • Ask for it: Don't wait for feedback to come to you. Be proactive. Ask your fellow artists, mentors, or even friends and family for their thoughts on your work. Just remember: when you ask for feedback, be prepared for both praise and criticism.
  • Listen with an open mind: It might be hard to hear that the painting you worked so hard on has flaws. But it's crucial to listen to feedback with an open mind. Remember, the goal is to improve your painting for career advancement, and constructive criticism can be a great catalyst for that.
  • Act on it: Feedback is only useful if you act on it. If someone suggests that your composition could be better, or your color palette could use some tweaking, take their advice on board. Try to implement their suggestions in your next painting. You might be surprised at the difference it makes!
  • Thank your critics: Lastly, don't forget to thank those who took the time to give you feedback. Not only is it polite, but it also encourages them to continue helping you in the future.

Remember, feedback isn't about pointing out faults — it's about growth and improvement. So, seek feedback, embrace it, and use it as a stepping stone to take your painting career to the next level.

Join Art Workshops and Courses

One of the best ways to improve your painting for career advancement is to never stop learning. And joining art workshops and courses is a fantastic way to do just that. They provide a structured learning environment, where you can learn from experts, gain new skills, and even network with other artists. Here's how these workshops and courses can help you:

  • Learn from the best: In art workshops and courses, you get to learn from experienced artists who've already walked the path you're on. Their insights, techniques, and tips can prove invaluable in your journey to advance your painting career.
  • Gain new skills: Through these workshops and courses, you can learn new painting techniques, explore different styles, and even experiment with various mediums. These new skills can add depth to your work and make your paintings more appealing to a broader audience.
  • Network: Workshops and courses are also great places to network with other artists. You can learn from their experiences, gain exposure to different perspectives, and even form partnerships or collaborations.
  • Get certified: Many art courses offer certifications upon completion. While a certificate is not a guarantee of success, it can add credibility to your portfolio and make you more attractive to potential clients or employers.

So, whether you're a beginner looking to learn the basics, or an experienced artist wanting to refine your skills, joining art workshops and courses can be a significant step towards improving your painting for career advancement. So go ahead, sign up for that workshop or course you've been eyeing. It's time to take your painting skills to the next level!

Observe and Analyze Artwork

Ever heard of the saying, "Good artists copy, great artists steal?" No, this doesn't mean you should start swiping canvases from local galleries. It's about drawing inspiration from the work of others and incorporating those elements into your own unique style. Here's how observing and analyzing artwork can help you advance in your painting career:

  • Understand different styles: By observing a variety of artwork, you will be exposed to a wide range of styles and techniques. This can help you identify what resonates with you and how you can incorporate elements of these styles into your own work.
  • Improve technical skills: Studying how other artists handle light, shade, perspective, and composition can help you improve these fundamental aspects of your own paintings. It's like a masterclass in painting, but at your own pace and in your own time.
  • Develop critical thinking: Analyzing an artwork isn't just about admiring it - it's about understanding the artist's choices and the message they're trying to convey. This not only improves your appreciation of art but also helps you make more conscious decisions in your own work.
  • Stay updated: The art world is constantly evolving. By observing and analyzing artwork, you can stay abreast of current trends, which can be useful in finding new directions for your own work.

So, next time you're at a gallery, an art fair, or even scrolling through art online, take a few extra moments to really look at the pieces that catch your eye. What can you learn from them? How can they inspire you? Remember, every piece of art you encounter is a potential lesson in how to improve your painting for career advancement.

Create Art Regularly

There's a reason why most advice on getting better at anything includes the words 'practice, practice, practice'. It's because it's true! If you're looking for ways on how to improve painting for career advancement, one of the best things you can do is simply to create art on a regular basis. Let's see why:

  • Builds Skill: Each time you pick up a paintbrush, you're honing your skills. You're learning how to mix colors, how to create different textures, how to capture light and shadow. Over time, these small lessons add up, leading to noticeable improvements in your work.
  • Promotes Experimentation: When you're painting regularly, you're more likely to experiment. Maybe you'll try out a new technique you've learned, or perhaps you'll decide to work in a completely different style. These experiments can lead to exciting breakthroughs and help you develop your unique artistic voice.
  • Boosts Confidence: The more you paint, the more comfortable you'll become with your tools and materials. This increased comfort level can lead to greater confidence in your abilities, which can help you take on more ambitious projects.
  • Develops Discipline: Creating art on a regular basis requires discipline. And discipline, in turn, can help you meet deadlines, stay focused on long-term projects, and manage your time effectively - all crucial skills for a successful painting career.

So, set aside some time each day, or each week, to paint. It doesn't matter whether you're working on a large-scale project or simply doodling in your sketchbook. The important thing is to keep those creative juices flowing and your hand moving. After all, every stroke brings you one step closer to your career goals.

Experiment with Different Mediums

Imagine only eating your favorite dish every day. Sure, it's delicious, but wouldn't you get bored eventually? The same holds true for painting. Sticking to one medium could limit your growth as an artist. So, if you're pondering how to improve painting for career advancement, consider dabbling in different mediums.

  • Discover New Possibilities: Each painting medium has its unique properties and possibilities. Watercolors, for instance, are great for creating soft, dreamy landscapes, while oil paints allow for rich, vibrant colors and intricate details. Experimenting with these different mediums can open the door to new artistic expressions and ideas.
  • Expand Skill Set: Mastering a new medium is a challenge, but it's also a great way to hone your skills. It forces you to adapt your techniques, learn new ones, and think creatively about how to achieve your desired effects. This wider skill set can make you more versatile and marketable as an artist.
  • Inspire Creativity: Trying out a new medium can rekindle your passion for painting. It's exciting to explore unfamiliar territory and see how your style evolves with different materials.
  • Stand Out: If you're able to create quality work in a variety of mediums, you'll stand out in the art world. This can give you an edge in competitive situations, like art shows or job applications.

So, next time you're at the art supplies store, why not pick up a set of acrylic paints, or a block of clay, or even a digital painting tablet? Who knows, you might discover a new favorite medium and take your painting career to exciting new heights!

Learn about Color Theory

Do you recall a time when you looked at a painting and thought, "These colors speak to me"? That's probably because the artist understood and applied color theory. If you're wondering how to improve painting for career advancement, a deep dive into color theory might be just the ticket.

  • Communication: Colors can communicate a variety of emotions and messages. For example, red often signifies passion or anger, while blue can evoke feelings of calm and tranquility. By understanding color theory, you can use colors more intentionally to convey your desired message.
  • Harmony: Certain colors look good together, while others don't. That's because of color relationships, which are explained in the color wheel. Studying color theory can help you create more harmonious and pleasing color combinations in your paintings.
  • Depth: Colors can create a sense of depth and perspective in a painting. For instance, cooler colors tend to recede into the background, while warmer colors appear to come forward. Learning about color theory can enhance your ability to create realistic and dynamic compositions.
  • Focus: Colors can also guide the viewer's eye to the focal point of a painting. By mastering color theory, you can use colors to create a clear path for the viewer's gaze and highlight the most important parts of your work.

So, grab a color wheel and a few books on color theory, and start exploring! As your understanding of color deepens, so too will the impact of your paintings—opening the door for career advancement in the art world.

Build an Online Portfolio

Imagine walking into an art gallery — except this one doesn't have a physical address. It's online, open 24/7, and accessible to anyone around the world. That's what an online portfolio can do for you. It's a potent tool in answering 'how to improve painting for career advancement?'

  • Visibility: An online portfolio gives your art a global stage. It's no longer confined to the walls of a local gallery. Art enthusiasts, collectors, and fellow artists from all corners of the globe can view and appreciate your work.
  • Professionalism: A well-curated online portfolio sends a clear message: you're serious about your art. It shows you're committed to showcasing your work in the best light and gives potential clients or employers a one-stop destination to explore your art.
  • Flexibility: Unlike a traditional portfolio, an online portfolio is easy to update. You can add new pieces, remove older ones, and rearrange your work to best reflect your current style and skills.
  • Networking: Having an online presence can help you connect with other artists, art communities, and potential clients. It serves as a platform to engage in art discussions, receive feedback, and even collaborate on projects.

So, if you're ready to take your painting career to the next level, start building your online portfolio today. As you upload each piece, remember: it's more than just a painting. It's a part of your journey, your growth, and your commitment to your art.

If you're looking to boost your painting skills and advance your career, we highly recommend checking out Rachel Christopoulos' workshop, 'Improve Your Acrylic Painting Skills.' This workshop is designed to help you refine your technique and develop your unique artistic style, making it the perfect resource to support your journey as a painter.