Exploring New Art Mediums: Stepping Out of Your Comfort Zone to Expand Your Artistic Horizons

Want to explore new art mediums but worried about taking the plunge? Need help determining which mediums to explore or where to start? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered with today’s blog post!

A painting of flowers created with the Palette Perfection Artists' Watercolor Tube Bundle

Palette Perfection Artists' Watercolor Tube Bundle

Stepping out of your usual artistic bubble and trying something totally different can be intimidating. But with the right mindset and preparation, it becomes akin to embarking on a cool adventure but with paintbrushes instead of maps.

So, buckle up and get ready to expand your artistic horizons!

Why Step Out of Your Comfort Zone?

A bouquet of flowers with a black background created with Artistry by Altenew’s Carbon Black Artists' Gouache

Artistry by Altenew’s Carbon Black Artists' Gouache

Your choice of medium is an extension of your artistry – a cozy blanket of sorts, where artists like you often find comfort and build a safe space. So, why bother trying new things when you've got your go-to medium? 

Well, consider this: imagine eating the same food every single day. Sounds boring, right?  Even if it’s your absolute favorite, eventually, your taste buds will grow tired of it, and your appetite will diminish. 

The same principle applies to art! Stepping out of your comfort zone keeps things interesting and helps you grow as an artist. Plus, you might stumble upon a new favorite that you never knew you loved! Trying something new can be as refreshing and exhilarating as jumping into a pool on a hot day!

A stylish, colorful bookmark with geometric designs created with the Artistry by Altenew’s Acrylic Marker 24 Color Set

Artistry by Altenew’s Acrylic Marker 24 Color Set

When you dive into a new medium, you're not just making art — you’re boosting your creativity and giving yourself fresher perspectives. It also makes you braver, which can enhance your quality of life when applied to the right circumstances. It's similar to flexing your artistic muscles and transforming into a creative superhero!

Meet the Brave Artists Who Came Before Us

You're not alone on this adventure! Some of the coolest artists in history were fearless explorers of new mediums. Vincent van Gogh rocked the art world with his bold brushstrokes, while Frida Kahlo turned her pain into powerful paintings. And they’re not the only ones:

  • Pablo Picasso

This legend was all about breaking the rules and pushing boundaries. He dabbled in everything from painting and sculpture to printmaking and ceramics. Picasso wasn't afraid to experiment with new techniques and styles, and his bold approach revolutionized the art world.

Pablo Picasso’s Guernica (1937)

Pablo Picasso’s Guernica (1937) 

  • Andy Warhol

Ever heard of pop art? Well, that was all Andy Warhol's doing. He was all about taking everyday objects and turning them into art – think soup cans and celebrities. Warhol wasn't just a painter, though – he also dabbled in filmmaking, photography, and even music. Talk about a Renaissance man!

  • Yayoi Kusama

You've probably seen those crazy polka-dot pumpkins or infinity mirror rooms floating around Instagram. Well, you can thank Yayoi Kusama for that! She's a Japanese artist known for her mind-bending installations and avant-garde sculptures. Kusama's fearless exploration of new mediums has made her a legend in the art world.

An Infinity Room Installation from one of Yayoi Kusama’s exhibits

An Infinity Room Installation from one of Yayoi Kusama’s exhibits

Pollock has become a household name, all thanks to his norm-defying artworks. Instead of delicately applying paint to a canvas, Pollock would literally fling and drip paint all over the place. His wild, energetic style of action painting revolutionized abstract expressionism and inspired countless artists to think outside the box.

  • Louise Bourgeois

This brilliant lady wasn't afraid to tackle tough subjects like sexuality, trauma, and feminism in her art. Bourgeois explored all sorts of mediums, from sculpture and installation to drawing and printmaking. Her bold, deeply personal work continues to inspire artists around the world.

Louise Bourgeois’ Maman near the Notre-Dame Cathedral Basilica

Louise Bourgeois’ Maman near the Notre-Dame Cathedral Basilica

And countless other artists throughout history have, in various ways, stepped out of their comfort zones and created masterpieces! These legends didn't stick to the same old stuff – they blazed trails and inspired others to do the same!

Tips for Taking the Plunge

Feeling a little nervous about trying something new? Don't worry – we've got your back! Here are some handy tips to help you ease into the wonderful world of new mediums:

A flower sketched with Monochrome Shading Pencils from Artistry by Altenew

Monochrome Shading Pencils

1. Start Small

Rome wasn't built in a day, and neither is artistic mastery! Begin by dipping your toe into the new medium rather than diving in headfirst. Take baby steps, experiment with small projects, and gradually work your way up. Whether it's sketching with charcoal or playing around with watercolors, starting small allows you to build confidence without feeling overwhelmed.

2. Embrace Mistakes

Ah, the dreaded M-word – mistakes. But guess what? Mistakes are not the end of the world – they're stepping stones on your creative journey! Don't be afraid to make a mess or veer off course. Every smudged line or wonky shape is an opportunity to learn and grow. Embrace the imperfections, laugh them off, and keep pushing forward.

3. Learn from Experience

Remember that old saying, "Experience is the best teacher"? Well, it's true! As you navigate the uncharted waters of a new medium, pay attention to what works and what doesn't. Take note of techniques that resonate with you, and don't hesitate to ask for advice or seek out tutorials online. Learning from your own experiences – both successes and failures – is key to mastering any new skill.

An enchanting drawing of an ethereal lady created with Artistry by Altenew’s Hawaiian Shores Dual Tip Pens

Artistry by Altenew’s Hawaiian Shores Dual Tip Pens

4. Stay Curious

Keep that flame of curiosity burning bright! Approach your exploration of new mediums with an open mind and a hunger for knowledge. Be curious about different tools, techniques, and styles. Allow yourself to be inspired by the work of others, but also trust your instincts and follow your creative intuition. The journey of discovery is half the fun!

5. Celebrate Progress

Finally, don't forget to celebrate your progress and have fun along the way! Whether you create a masterpiece or simply take a small step forward, each achievement is worth celebrating. Pat yourself on the back, share your successes with friends or fellow artists, and take pride in how far you've come. Remember, every stroke of the brush or click of the mouse brings you one step closer to unleashing your full artistic potential.

A flower drawn with a Fine Liner Pen and colored pencils

Getting Started With Exploring New Art Mediums

Ready to dive in? Awesome! First, think about what interests you. Here is a list of different mediums that you can explore:

1. Drawing

Grab a pencil or some colorful markers and let your imagination run wild on paper. From simple sketches to intricate doodles, drawing is a classic medium that's perfect for expressing your creativity.

A sketch of a statue created with Monochrome Shading Pencils

2. Painting

Whether you prefer watercolors, acrylics, or oils, painting is a fantastic way to add some color to your life. Splash some paint on a canvas and watch your ideas come to life in vibrant hues.

3. Sculpture

Get your hands dirty with clay or other sculpting materials and sculpt away! From tiny figurines to larger-than-life masterpieces, sculpture lets you bring your ideas into the three-dimensional world.

4. Mixed Media

Why stick to just one medium when you can mix things up? Mixed media art combines different materials and techniques to create unique and eclectic pieces. Experiment with collages, found objects, and more to create one-of-a-kind works of art.

Several air-dry clay ornaments created with Altenew's Pen Sketched Silhouette Stamp Set

5. Photography

Capture the world around you through the lens of a camera. Whether you're into landscapes, portraits, or abstracts, photography is a powerful medium for telling stories and capturing moments in time.

6. Printmaking

Dive into the world of printmaking and create your own unique prints. From linocuts to etchings, printmaking offers endless possibilities for experimentation and creativity.

7. Textiles

Sew, knit, weave – the world of textiles is full of possibilities! Create beautiful fabric art, wearable garments, or even mixed-media pieces that incorporate fabric and stitching.

8. Collage

Cut, paste, and layer your way to artistic greatness with collage. Use magazine clippings, photographs, and other found materials to create visually stunning compositions.

9. Calligraphy

Explore the art of beautiful handwriting with calligraphy. Whether you're writing out quotes, creating decorative lettering, or designing invitations, calligraphy adds a touch of elegance to any project.

Calligraphy created with Artistry by Altenew's Fine Liner Pen Set

Fine Liner Pen Set

10. Digital Art

One of the most recent art forms, especially with people with an interest in graphic design, is digital art. Fire up your computer or tablet and explore the world of digital art. With programs like Photoshop and Procreate, the possibilities are endless. Create digital paintings, illustrations, animations, and more – all with just a few clicks!

Next, gather your supplies – whether it's clay, paper, pencils, fabrics, and more! Along the way, you can experiment with those supplies, too, and see which of those you can combine into your art.

A bouquet of white flowers on black background created with acrylic markers and black gouache paint

Then, set a small goal at first, like making one piece a week or trying a new technique every month. Again, Rome wasn’t built in a day, so forgive yourself if you think you’re not starting “big enough.” Slowly work your way up to more complex ones. Remember – don’t rush.

Finally, and most importantly, believe in yourself – you've got this! Take everything as a learning experience and use it as a guide to better yourself and your art.

A drawing of lively green leaves created with dual-tip pens from Artistry by Altenew

Share Your Adventure!

Lastly, don't forget to share your artistic escapades with the world! Whether it's posting your work online or showing it off to friends, sharing your journey inspires others to step out of their comfort zones too. Who knows? You might just spark a creative revolution!

So there you have it, fellow art adventurers – exploring new mediums is like adding sprinkles to your ice cream. It's colorful, exciting, and makes life a whole lot sweeter. So go ahead, grab your paintbrush or fabrics or your clay. Your artistic adventure awaits!

For more inspiration and other mediums to explore, drop by The Creative Corner and we’ll be sure to spark more ideas for you!

Explore More Mediums With These Art Classes!

Leave a comment

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.