Painting well is a combination of many skills. Understanding colours and how to mix them, learning to be expressive with line and shape, to mention just a few. As students learn about composition, I encourage them to identify the large shapes in their composition. Squinting at the photo reference and painting in progress helps because this eliminates a lot of detail allowing large shapes to be more discernable. When there is a variety in the size of the main shapes, there is more likely to be a pleasing composition. These shapes should fit together in interesting ways, and perhaps people who do puzzles have an advantage here. They might more easily grasp the idea of shapes fitting into each other to form an image. In any case, making a quick sketch of the main shapes in your painting before starting can help you catch any major compositional errors before starting. Is there variety - some large some smaller? Do they fit together with interesting lines and angles?
Mystery runs through all of life - we can never understand it all. Life with its inexhaustible wonders and sorrows is beyond what our gray matter can fully grasp. And one of the greatest mysteries of all is that of love. When I see the stars, I am convinced that all that exists is founded on love.
Roses have long been a symbol of love. With this painting, I wanted to express the mysterious feeling that roses often give me, rather than to paint them in a realistic manner. The title is: "Roses in Paper". Your comments are welcome.
I had a great idea for today's blog post. But then again ... so here's a fun quote instead ...
"Right now I am having amnesia and deja vue at the same time. I think I may have forgotten this before." Stephen Wright
What gets you going? It really doesn't matter if I know - but it's very important for you to know yourself this way. When it comes to painting, here are a few ways that help some artists to get going...
1. Have a place where you can leave the paint and painting out - even just a card table in a corner. You are much more likely to go and paint if it is easily accessible.
2. Think of your work as an exercise, rather than a masterpiece. Aiming at a learning experience takes a lot of the pressure off and makes it easier to start. And if it's a masterpiece after all - that's a nice bonus!
3. Be spontaneous. Grab the brush at a time of day you might not usually, and just get a little bit done.
4. Be a planner. If you respond to schedules well, then block off some time weekly for painting. And why not block off a couple in case something gets in the way of one of the planned painting times?
5. Take a class or find a painting buddy. Painting with others helps you keep that time commitment.
6. Enjoy the act of painting, and focus less on the end product. It's fun to express yourself freely! It's fun to try new things!
7. Get the support of your live-in critics. Sometimes your family needs to be informed that, even if it's a hobby, this painting time is important to you!
What things help you to pick up the brush? Let us know in the comments so we can use them too - thanks!