7 tips to paint better
Painting can be quite complicated if you are just starting out. You may know the materials and how it works. But how do you make a good painting? What should you start practicing with? Here I have listed for a number of painting tips which I found useful when I just started painting.
1. Big Tools
Use large to medium sized brushes and palette knives. I am a huge fan of palette knives, you can apply a big dollop of paint, you wipe them and they are ready for a new color. If you use a large brush or palette knife, you also ensure that you can quickly fill your cloth and that you do not get stuck on details. You shouldn’t worry about that at all.
2. Big movements
With those large brushes you can put a big movement on your canvas. This gives your work much more energy and life. You also turn out not to be influenced in the details. Be as big and big as possible at the beginning.
3. Simplify (or: less is more)
You don’t always have to work out everything in details. Remember before you start painting what you actually want to draw attention to. What is important? Is it a person? the light? The composition? A special color? Depth effect? The attitude of the person? The glance? It can be anything, but it is good to know in advance so that you do not put all the unimportant matters into your painting. You can use the details you want to emphasize to work out better when you’re almost done, as a finishing touch!
This also picks up on the previous tip. If you know what you want to achieve, it becomes useful. Think about what you want to paint, what color scheme you want to use, in which way, find reference material of certain postures, faces or light that you want to process. It is a wrong summary that you have to paint everything by heart. Also make a few sketches before you start the real work. Sometimes I suddenly get Spanish stuffy when I have to start the “real” one. I always try to remember that if things go wrong, I can always make another “real” one.
5. Adjust your expectations
Especially when you start it is smart not to want too much at once. A simple subject is sometimes better to deal with important topics such as color, tone and your paint tests. With complex subjects you will put a lot of time and effort into correctly designing your subject and getting the composition right. Don’t try to do everything at once. Especially in the beginning it is smart to keep it simple.
Monet’s paintings (pond) are not that complicated on the subject. It is only about that pond, but because of its use of color and its paint touches, the painting is nevertheless enchanting. And just remember that he painted the pond for years and the recognition for this came later.
6. Make your large paintings small
Super tempting a big canvas, but it requires a lot of planning, and often it also causes a lot of frustration. You also teach yourself bad painting habits because the canvas is too big and you don’t have that much experience yet.
With a small (er) painting you need less time to finish it, you can safely use a lot of paint without really having to buy many pots of paint. You will have to improve and your tests can be more lively and spontaneous. If it doesn’t work, no man overboard, because not much time and material has been used. If your small works make you start over faster, you’ll find out faster if things go wrong. It is also suitable in a small area to create a simple powerful image. I also regularly work on paper thick enough to paint on (250 grams for example). Also still use large brushes. Small mini brushes are prohibited!
7. A good start is half the battle
Everyone wants to paint a masterpiece right away, but this is not realistic. You will not immediately run a marathon, you will have to build up your strength. When painting it seems that “talent” should also ensure that you can make a fantastic painting in one go. This is, of course, an idiot idea.
If you practice making a good start, you can correct quickly. With a bad start, your painting becomes a struggle to straighten it out. If you can recognise when things go wrong, you can stop and start over. (new layer over it and ready for a new beginning!)
Good luck and have fun practicing!