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How do you create loose painterly work that still retains the edge of realism?
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ï»¿When we are looking at a subject for painting, we are often captivated by the center of interest. It's natural then that when we come to paint it we wan to get straight to the detail, to get out little brushes out, and work on this till it's just right. And sometimes that works, that I have often found that if I start with the detail the rest of the painting will suffer for it. The reason for this I think is that our center of interest is one of the driving forces behind the painting, and once that's done it's like, oh well I guess I'll just put the rest in that.
It's easy to lose enthusiasm for the painting, when the focal point is already been pointed. Also its easy to overdo the detail in focal area by pouring all that starting out energy into it. The way I have paint a lot of my work is the opposite of this. And I think of it as sitting the stage for the actors to work upon, and the atmosphere perspective listen I refer to it as smoothing the cushion for the crown jewels to sit on. Basically it saving your putting to last, which I know is hard to do sometimes. You are growing up now, you can eat your pudding first if you want to, but it taste even better if you have to wait a bit longer for it.
So I use big brushes to start out with, big brushes and lose paint. I can be as loose as I like to start because I can refine it as I go. It's much easier to refine the focal area of the than it is to make a tight painting have a painterly look. My rule of thumb for choosing a brush is to find the biggest one you would normally use and then use the next biggest. So long that its a good brush, which keeps its shade, it will still be able to make small strokes with the tip when you want to.
So I might start out with a one or two inch brush, or a Palette knife in the wreck then once I have my base colors down I can start refining things with my middle size brushes on number 8, to a number 6. Then once I've refined the areas I want to with these and set the stage for the finale, only then do I pull out small brush for some final little details. Often all loose paintings needs to make a whole thing real as just a hint of detail in the focal areas. If you getting that right the viewers brain will fill in the other details for you. And this makes it more interesting for them as well, because it's not all spelled out to them.
So remember that it just like good touring requires going from the large shapes to the smaller shapes. Your painting can benefit from the same approach. It is hard to do because we all really want to eat our pudding first, but just think about how great it's going to taste after you have enjoyed your dinner first. You can get more depth painting lessons at livepaintinglessons.com