Why am I painting this? As a continued effort (Part 3) to learn how to relax and paint more “loosely”. The effort will result in not only my further enjoyment in what I’m painting, but to the viewer as well.
Here, I took a challenge to paint with larger brushes in an effort to broaden my strokes and do away with edges further. So, I took a single 1 inch, square brush, a palate knife and an 8 x 10″ canvas panel and had some fun. I set up a simple still life and had some fun making a message of it with the orange wrapping an “arm” around the apple (the differences are the spice of life). I blocked in the main objects colors first and decided the range of values that seemed right for each (including the background). Then simply applied paint in large brush strokes as in previous attempts.
The apple: here’s a great video to show a process of laying down paint first and then working through to the finish. It’s more detailed, but has great info!
What resulted from this big brush challenge is that the brush size doesn’t matter (at least for me) as much as the ability to see the goal. I’m still looking for the finished style as I know it. Somehow, I just learned to use every edge and angle of a 1″ brush to get the same result! Ha. Oh well.
In going back through Alla Prima: Everything I Know about Painting, I can see some different techniques to try. There will be a Part 4!! In Part 4, I’m going to create a messy background and possibly foreground with undefined objects with the main focus being on the subject. See his floral still life paintings for example. Possibly in a plein air landscape? Who knows. Just got a portable easel, so time to test it out!!
Update (4/24/12): Hmm, I guess there’s not a Part 4. I blame on the new portable easel. I’ve been spending so much time painting outdoors, I’ve forgotten about this series. I’ll include things I’ve tried to help loosen up in the next posts (after 4/27/12). I have learned that the point isn’t so much loosening up, but getting the initial concept of a painting before I start. More on that later. I recommend buying Paul Strisik’s book Capturing Light in Oils. He explains it in a way I’ll never be able to that seems to make clarity in this muddy subject. Seriously, it’s worth every penny.