Choosing a subject for a painting or any piece of artwork will essentially help you build a personal style that forms you into the artist you want to be. When scoping out a subject, it’s going to reflect on the techniques you’ll be using in your paintings such as the type of paint you might be using, where you’ll be spending your time to paint, and even what surfaces you’ll be painting on.
While picking a subject should be a natural progression for you based on personal style and preferences, your subject doesn’t necessarily have to exist from the real world.
Tapping into the Imagination for a Subject
Is your imagination still active at your age? Some people lose their sense of imagination when they become adults, despite being the opposite when much younger. But if you still daydream with vivid images in your head, you might be able to translate that into your artwork for your own benefit.
It may not be easy to translate what you see internally onto a canvas or through another art form. Then again, you have ways to help that along, if also using one technique that usually brings the most supreme form of art.
Practice Writing Down or Sketching Images
Before you start doing your painting, try writing down descriptions of what you see in your mind so you can have something to refer to. Even doing doodling or rough sketches of imaginative thoughts can be a good reference tool, no matter how surreal or abstract those images are. Sometimes remembering a dream will help you come up with an image that would be perfectly conveyed in a painting. You wouldn’t be the first artist to form your own style of dreamlike imagery into art.
Combining Reality with the Imagination
If your imagination is far too abstract to be translated into art right now, combining your imagination with favorite images in reality can help you develop a unique subject. With so much imagery available online, you don’t even have to go outside to find images that you can translate through your own imaginative eye. When that happens, an art subject from reality can turn into something compelling based on how we’d prefer that subject to appear.
You can see evidence of that in all of Van Gogh’s paintings where the reality of nature was enhanced with his imagination of color and technique.
Be bold and try nurturing your imagination again to find your art subject. The very best artists usually combine their imagination with reality so an artist’s soul is easily translated while conveying the essence of the real world.