How to use that YouTube tutorial to inspire you but not copy it. There are so many great YouTube videos to learn from these days and although it's a great learning exercise to follow the lessons step by step. I feel that the point of these lessons is to take the methods, the mood or feeling of the painting that inspired you and apply it to your own painting.
Here's an example,
I love to watch" Painting with Jane" Her painting style is very different from mine but I often get inspired by her methods.
Her "Sky full of clouds" Tutorial I found interesting. That big moody sky and the atmosphere that the colours she was using I really liked and wanted to capture that feeling myself.
I had an idea for a bird painting that I thought would be good for this.
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How did I use Jane's Tutorial? I started the same way as she showed on her video except for the colour I used for the dark. Instead of using black as she did I made my own using burnt sienna and ultramarine blue. I felt this would give me a bit more variety in the cloud colours.
I also liked the movement she had going on in that sky but I changed the cloud shapes to suit my picture. I liked the glow she had done in the top of her sky so included that in my painting. I used her method of painting in the clouds. What else did I like that I felt would be good for my picture? Well as I liked the moody atmosphere after studying her tutorial I felt the landscape colours helped to enhance that feel. So I used similar colours in my landscape. All this was in about the first three steps of the tutorial and from then on I went my own way.
I decided that there was a bit of a disconnect in the sky and foreground. It didn't feel to me like it was flowing together. I felt it needed some of the warmth from the foreground in the sky as well to tie the painting together. Now here I needed to be careful as I didn't want to make it to warm and lose that moody atmosphere that I liked so much. I mixed a glaze using yellow ochre and glazing medium a just a bit of iridescent medium. I put this all over the sky adding more yellow ochre to the top where the sun rays were going to be coming through. I then repainted the clouds in some areas letting some of the yellow show through. I then added the sun rays using the same glazing mix from before.
I added in a few clouds going over the sun rays to add that sense of distance. I then put in the highlights on the pond, ground and clouds. Lastly I added the birds.
So that was it. I used what I had seen on YouTube to create my own "masterpiece".
When you find a tutorial you really like, take a little time to study it. What do you like about it? Is it the subject? The use of colour? The atmosphere? Or is it a method that they apply the paint. How did they get that look? After you study it to see what attracted you to it and work out what in particular you like, you can then work out how they did that and apply that to your own work.
So watch those tutorials and then put those lessons into practice producing your own original art works and of cause make sure you have fun with it.