Hi everyone! I'm excited to share a short post (I could talk about this topic for days) today about 5 small things you can do to improve your paintings in a big way. I decided to start by sharing only 5 words of advice, because if you're new to painting, things can definitely be overwhelming and you'll want to start small.
These little suggestions are all things that I personally incorporate into my own painting process and were tips that I learned along the way during my college studio days. (Such a blessing to learn from such wise professors!) Many things about my painting style change on a daily basis, however, these 5 things remain the same and I'm sure they always will as I develop more into the professional art world.
Sharing my love for art and the process of painting is such a passion of mine and I hope to make that evident through this blog. Even if you're not ready to try painting yet and you just enjoy admiring art, I hope this post will be some fun insight into how my paintings come to life!
Layer, layer, layer!
This is probably the most important step in my personal painting process. I begin each painting with very loose and light paint washes (watered down acrylic paint, maybe some pencil marks, possible watercolors or watercolor crayons for initial texture). Each layer beyond that becomes more thick, textured, and colorful! Be sure to let each layer dry before painting another. Also, make sure to let some of the previous paint strokes beneath the surface shine through the new layers, too, in order to create more depth.
Every once in a while, be sure to stop for a minute and take a few steps back (maybe 10-20 feet) in order to observe your painting from a different perspective. While you're at it, you could even try turning your painting upside down or sideways in order to see things from a different angle and make sure everything is well balanced. It's easy to get caught up in the little, up close details of a painting, however, many paintings are viewed from afar, so it's important to think like the viewer for more success!
Mix your colors
Often times, the paint colors that we buy are stunning straight out of the tube, however, mixing them even just the slightest bit with other colors makes things a little more sophisticated. Plus, mixing your own colors opens up endless amounts of new colors and shades that you can't buy! How neat is that? Mixing green with a tiny bit of orange is one of my personal favorites (to create a rich olive green) as well as mixing pink and orange to create a stunning coral color. What color combo are you looking forward to trying? Comment below!
Painting doesn't restrict you to only using a paint brush! There are so many fun tools you can use to create extra textures combined with the ever-loved brush strokes. Adding texture is a great way to increase the interest and depth in your paintings. A few of my favorite tools are palette knives, pencil marks, texture combs (similar to these or a plastic fork will do), bubble wrap/pattern stamps, and simply my fingers (brings you back to elementary school finger painting, and it's perfect!) Have fun and experiment!
paint over things
Yes, I said it. Paint over parts of your painting. Even the sections you love most (but not all the time). It's scary, but this form of layering can definitely be an improvement to your creations. Sometimes, certain areas of a painting, or the majority of it, just aren't cohesive and will continue not working until something drastic is done. I've had plenty of moments where I decided to paint over huge chunks of my canvas or even the whole thing, and trust me...the finished art turned out much better than it would have. Be brave and see what unfolds!
Hopefully this round up of little painting tips has been encouraging and helpful, and will make a big impact in your painting endeavors. Let me know in the comments if you've tried any of these tips and how they turned out! I'd love to hear from you. Thanks so much for taking the time to read this post as well!