Top 6 Reasons Artists Fail – Oil Painting Instruction

Top 6 Reasons Artists Fail - Oil Painting Instruction



so in this video I want to talk about the top six reasons that I see that artists fail and this is absolutely based on it's really not my opinion it's what I've seen over the years I've taught people to paint for years if thousands of people have witnessed hundreds and hundreds of people myself personally you know I used to do groups of ten and teach teach classes of groups of ten at now I do these private classes I do all one almost every week and I have students that have no experience at all people who say that you know they've tried to paint for years and weren't able I've had people who are professionals and and everything in between and this is just my absolute observation of how if people fail or if I you know if somebody takes my class and then I check in on them two years later or three years later and they're not painting or they're not succeeding with their art and what I mean by that is you know getting beyond that amateur level painting really high realism and the reasons that I see for people failing these top six reasons none of them include anything to do with talent with with just raw talent and every one of them well let me let me just go through them so that so that you can see the number one reason that I would say is that life gets in the way and that's you know people wanting to paint but they simply don't have the time they're either taking care of kids or grandkids or they're busy with their work and they don't have time to paint or they're too tired at the end of the day and it takes a certain amount of time so that's number one right off the top and I just you know I just hear it all the time you know people will take my class they get home and they may not even get started for two or three months and I'm check-in on them and it's because they're too busy with this or that or you know it's just life is crazy and it's it's hard to find time to paint and then the second most common reason I would say is that people simply don't have the personality or that you know it's not in there you know personality to spend hours and hours in a studio by themselves you know you have to be able to work alone you have to have that personality you know that or even just the discipline to sit in your studio and work for hours and put in the time and a lot of people you know they can they can paint a little bit for an hour here you know twice it twice a week or or whatever it is but you really do have to put in some time in the studio and that's something that people either have that personality or they don't and that's just another big thing you know and I see that in my private classes if I have a student and every time I go in in there they're on Facebook or they're you know checking their email or whatever they're being distracted you know they just don't have that you know long-term Drive that's gonna put them in the studio and keep them working so that would be number two and then the third reason I would say and I don't know that I'm saying these in the most common order but I would say maybe the third most common would would be that people get distracted with one method or another and they don't just sit and stick with whatever method it is that they're learning you know there's a lot of different methods that you can learn that'll teach you to paint you know of course I'm you know have my own method which I I know works and you know I can give you testimony after testimony about people who've succeeded with my method but I do see a lot of people that will take my method but then they're you know taking a different workshop and going in a different different direction and it's not that I mind any of that as just that you know it's it's really best to stick with one method and to trust that and to let that teach you as opposed to taking one workshop and one person says this and one person says that and I just see that a lot where people who take my either either my private classes or whatever you know they're going home and they're doing something different and they're just you know constantly trying new things or new methods and that's that's a real problem okay so then number four I would say is you know similar to that but it's just poor instruction you if you are trying to learn to paint and somebody's teaching you the wrong way or they're teaching you a way that's really hard to learn or they're just not a good teacher then you will fail and and I get a lot of students that take my class you know that are that have told me that very thing that they're you know taking this class or they're taking this workshop and they're not really learning or whatever it is and there's simply a lot of methods out there a lot of ways that people teach that really don't you know that don't work as well as others and again you know I have my own method which I you know think works but it's just a matter of you know you can get some poor instruction and it can really lead you astray okay so number five would be simply never getting started or setup and you know that's a maybe a lot of that is fear of failure but I remember myself you know when I first decided I wanted to start to paint and walking into the art store and deciding to spend all this money on paint and an easel and everything else I needed to get set up and I remember thinking you know Who am I kidding why I'm you know I can't do this why do i why am i spending all this money and investing all this time you know I'll never be able to paint the way I want to you know I I have that same fear and so I understand that and I don't know how I ended up pushing through I think it was just that I was in the right place at the right time in my life and I really didn't have anything better to do I don't know what it was but I definitely understand that fear of failure and it's kind of hard to see yourself you know painting great paintings but that's something that you know you just can't let that get in your way and so you have to get set up you have to build your studio you have to you know purchase your paints and you have to get started so that would be another reason and then the last reason I would say and I'm sure there's several more that I'm not thinking about but the the biggest one or the last one that that's a big one is the artists curse you know you can get through all of those first you know problems you can be you can get set up you can you know start doing it you can spend hours and hours in the studio and do all that and then you have the artists curse and the artists curse is something that you know I personally had a really hard time with when I first started you know I was never happy with my work I would start off and I would get excited about painting something and but then by the time I got to the end of it I didn't like it anymore you know and I and I just didn't realize that that's part of the game you know it's just like somebody who's a writer that tries to read their own novel you know you really can't have that objectivity that's somebody that's never that didn't write it or didn't compose the music or whatever you know even myself you know when I play it we used to play drums you know and I still play drums but when I played it you know a lot I was always trying to figure out it you know am I making noise am i playing right you know it's really hard to judge your own work you know whether you're you know in a visual artist or whatever it is and then that's a really big deal and there are a lot of people that you know they finish a painting and they think seeing is believing and when they look at it they just don't see the magic that they see in a painting where they walk into museum and just look at it and you know there's a lot of tricks that you can get around the artists curse you can turn your painting upside down you can take a picture with your cell phone turn it into a black and white photo you know you can do these things with photography to trick yourself now and help yourself see it objectively you know you can look in a mirror but there's a lot of pitfalls and all of that so the artists curse is a really big one and I've seen it stop people in their tracks I've seen people who you know are painting and then I ask them why they stopped and they just say that they you know they feel like they can't can't produce anything that they really love and that's just part of the deal and so so anyway these are the top six reasons that I can think of you know it's it's not what what the vast majority of people the general public they think that it's that it's just talent that I either have a talent or I don't and that's what's gonna stop you but I've just never seen that in my own personal experience and I've taught hundreds and hundreds of people to paint and I've never seen somebody just not be able to paint and so I knew I hope this is helpful I've got a video coming out very soon on how to paint water so take keep an eye open for that and thank you guys for watching and we'll see you in the next video

48 Comments

  • sujanith tottempudi says:

    Also not studying .. old .masters …artwork….Maybe that gives lot of education

  • sujanith tottempudi says:

    I really would request your opinion on…how to find your own style of art….of course after several years of practice🙏🙏

  • sujanith tottempudi says:

    Also….Maybe multiple art interests….like me…oils, pastels,sculpture, gouache….Jack of all trades….master of none

  • sujanith tottempudi says:

    Thanks a lot🙏🙏

  • Carlos Ferreira says:

    Artist Course, a real thing that didn't know was well known.
    I beat my Artist Curse by just allowing me to think that any of the art I can produce is Sacred. It can be imperfect and ugly to myself, still a wonderful achievement for me to have the courage to see them as a finished work as they are.

    Thank you for your video

  • seeburgm100a says:

    #2 as the Deutsche say "Sitzfleisch" the ability to stay at a task. Lastly we are all our own worst critics. Very good segment! thank you.

  • Al Berto says:

    Thank you, your geneva paint in tubes is perfect!

  • Simon Ford says:

    You are a great human being Mark

  • Boots Zara Walken says:

    Thanks Mark. I've been painting for years now but am coming up hard against the "artist's curse" at the moment so this video couldn't have come at a better time for me. It is exactly what I needed to hear.

  • John Mcentee says:

    You can only develop your own style from learning from different sources not just one. An Artist should always be learning different techniques to find what they like best.

  • Hoora says:

    ‘You know”

  • Fernando Bello Oil Painter says:

    Wow, you hit the nail with every single one. I think I suffer from all of them 😀

    It is a privilege to hear tips and hints from this professional, he is very humble, so people here may not know, but he is the BEST painter of our current century, he painted several portraits for Former US Presidents like George Bush and a few Ladies. He also sells painting products, yet gives us videos on how to do our own mediums and paints, damaging his own business, very humble man! Thank you!!!!

  • Leonardo Nuevatierra says:

    Thank you for share to us all your wisdom maestro. I hope soon achieve to acquire your amazing easel and high quality materials. Regards from México.

  • Darth KEK says:

    #7 – they don't use Geneva Paints. 😉

  • Ryan Embry says:

    Amen. I think one must be a borderline masochist to really get to that super high level of oil painting realism. It takes an awful lot of discipline and dogged persistence. Half the battle is developing the proper mindset.

  • Pharoah says:

    you forgot to mention color blindness

  • Nick Doe says:

    I think everyone has to try new things and personalize their work. All great artists were scoffed at and ahead of their time – they didn't paint like everyone else. History attests to that.

  • xxxorg says:

    I'm kinda surprised you didn't mention this video you did on "the artists curse and how to overcome it"
    So here everybody, a fantastic video on the subject by Mark Carden himself!! wa'la' https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R3p6DUh2Nqk

  • Robin J Mitchell says:

    Thanks again

  • Monica Perez says:

    Am struggling to find my voice as an artist. May I ask how you found your voice as an artist? Thank you for generously sharing your time with us.

  • Vicki Stone says:

    many have excellent technique, but non magical, grabbing imagery. in sort, beautifully crafted, boring work

  • Mellow says:

    Thanks Mark. Do you have video(s) on gessoing, and varnishing?

  • L Noir says:

    Thank you very much I really value your videos. I've been drawing and painting since I can remember and nothing has gave me an acceleration in progress as much as your advice and techniques.
    I would kill to be at your workshops 😂 but until then I'm going to take your online courses 😂

  • Douglas Bondurant says:

    This was a very real and helpful explanation !

  • malcolm greig says:

    This fellow knows what he is talking about. Very wise observations and advice, and very encouraging comment about "no talent required", gives me hope.

  • Daniel Q. says:

    All valid points! I think having a proper space to work is a huge thing for me. Being in my room just invites a feeling of relaxation so I throw myself on my bed and rest. To remedy this I take a sketchbook to the park or I go to the library to put in work on my ideas. Once I have sketches and stuff I want to do on bigger paper or canvas I'll limit myself to paint in my room and kick butt.

  • Teina 's Art says:

    Yep, the artist curse is real. I think it is related to fear of failure (at least for me). I will think a painting is good until I look at it 3 months later, then I want to redo it and I ask myself, what was I thinking!! I heard doing a small painting a day helps with this (forcing yourself to produce – good or bad). I can't say it does or not. Haven't tried it.

  • Ashley Culver says:

    Some wise words. Thanks for sharing

  • defin99 says:

    Sometimes number 6, but definitely number 7. Laziness.

  • Xyu says:

    My issue is that no one cares enough to purchase any of my stuff. People would comment, praise, critique but it went nowhere after years of painting to a point where self-doubt sets in and you just abandon it. Problem multiplies when you see very amateurish work that requires 0 talent or effort and can be replicated just by watching 5 minute video (spinning acrylics) being sold left and right because somehow for some reason that person is able to market it really well but when I tried, once again 0 response.

  • SkatorGators says:

    I have a few questions, not necessarily about just this video alone but in general about mark carder and his paintings. (keep in mind i am quite new to oil painting) 1. does the geneva stain he uses work as priming the canvas, or do he prime it before? 2. does he add and liquid color to paint wet on wet, or is it all wet on dry? Thanks.

  • Madeline Winter says:

    Thank you.

  • Clod Bahls says:

    Thank you sir, finding your methods is refreshing. I have a few of those and never knew there was the artist curse,but now … guilty! Two more for me, help for any advice…1.) Pain, disabled vet picking up art after 20+ yrs of "the artists curse",I find pain experienced at the chair is a big barrier(working on that through ergonomics) 2. Piles of paint; as a former acrylic painter, I would mix as I go due to fast drying time, now…its just difficult to be confident that I am mixing the right color(s) so far ahead. Pls advise.

  • Cynthia Sanfilippo says:

    This was very help ful! Ty

  • john stone says:

    your so right.

  • andrew feuerstein says:

    Great video. Great content. Can't wait to see the how to paint water video!

  • Peter Parkinson says:

    Mark Carder is an amazing human being for popularising his method, and so accessibly. I'd painted fifty bumbing and inept pictures before I decided to follow his instructions… and the results are phenomenally good; much better than I ever dreamt. Paint ugly, get the values right. That's what he says. That's basically all. They should give so give him a medal.

  • JT Paar says:

    After looking at the art I've been working on for several hours, I sometimes get frustrated because I can't really see the results I want to see, nor can I grasp what I need to do to obtain said result. Then….voila….I take a picture with my cell phone and think, holy crap, this looks waaay better than I thought AND I can clearly see where I need to tweak things. My cell phone has been a saving grace for my artwork and helps my eyes/brain really see what I've accomplished….I highly recommend taking those pics!

  • Kathleen Lairscey says:

    When you discover that some of the old masters painted upwards of over 500 paintings some of them gigantic you appreciate the positive effort and dedication these guys had, and I believe that they enjoyed painting and the challenge, but I could definitely equally believe that staying alive could have been harder but also their life was an extremely simpler one.

  • As a matter of Flat. says:

    I see you have been using that rubber iron again mark lol.

  • Roland Lemus says:

    I have the artists curse on 2 of my paintings, and while people tell me, oh its nice, blah blah, I trudge through it and complete it, and think what was I thinking??? However, when I get paid, I think, well, how can I approach this better in a composition so I do not think this way? Most of my frustration is that my technique is LACKING and I am not getting the results I want for that specific painting, maybe I am being too ambitious and over stepped my supposed talent? Maybe I have the tone value and edges all wrong? So, I have vowed to really scrutinize my composition and tones BEFORE I start to paint. I find that if my planning is better, I feel less Artists curse, but it happens and it is very real. I really liked this video, thank you!!

  • Tom Garney Fine Art says:

    Spot on! I attended Mark's class and have been working hard to keep painting. But he is right, life and all that other stuff seems to slow you down and eventually stop you. You just have to remember that, "Quitting is not an option."

  • Michelle Lynn Fine Art says:

    I’ve had the artists curse for the past couple months. I just haven’t been happy with anything I’ve created lately. I’ve just finally started a painting that I’m actually happy with. Life gets in the way is another big one for me! I definitely have the type of personality to sit in my studio by myself all day, but there are certain things going on in my life right now that are keeping me from painting. Thanks for this video! You’re such an inspiration!

  • Lady Liddie says:

    I'm very aware of all these things but how do I overcome the issue of "life getting in the way"? There are so many important and unpredictable things in life that it seems like I have no choice but to choose those things over making art

  • Kristína Oravcová says:

    I agree. I remember how i felt when i bought my first art supplies. Like.. what a waste, it wont look good anyway, who am i kidding. I never visited any art school and i felt like total outsider when it comes to art. Your videos removed that internal block in me and im soo glad. 🙂 thanks a lot.

  • Angelo Guerra says:

    Laziness kills. I would know

  • Gad Perry says:

    You have an amazing channel. Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge . I wish one day to be your humble student . IG: g.perry.fine.arts

  • gastric creeb says:

    I definately relate to the first three points. Thankyou for bringing this up it’s nice to know that others suffer the same difficulties. I m sure I experience the artists curse too which has made me throw my previous works away

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