If you want to paint more intuitively, how do you decide how to begin a painting, or what to do next? How do you know when you’re done? Here are a couple of activities to start exploring pieces of a system or structure to guide creative choices when you’re painting intuitively.
It can be helpful to think about style and voice as two pieces of your “creative identity” that come together to create the overall effect you want your paintings to have.
How to add an element to your painting plan when it’s not in your reference photo.
Making easy, small changes to your reference photo can make your painting more interesting and unique (and often, easier to paint, too!)
Some journals that are lovely to write in and really can take a light wash nicely—Zen Art.
Look over my shoulder as I paint the subpaintings to help me decide how I want to paint reflections on calm water.
A subpainting is a small excerpt of the larger painting, used to solve a problem in isolation, make stylistic choices or try creative alternatives. Think “Crop, don’t shrink!” It’s also a great way to find a quick and easy postcard idea inside a more complex image.
Some watercolor pigments produce granulation (a.k.a. sedimentation), a mottled or speckly appearance as the wash dries. Did you know that you can sometimes coax more or less granulation out of the same pigment? Here’s how.
Why I stopped doing traditional thumbnails, value studies and color studies to plan my watercolors.
Try exploring different watercolor effects and “textures” and asking “What does this watercolor effect remind me of? What could I use it to suggest?”
Is this the picture in your head when you think about painting on location? I’ve never had anything like this happen, but just imagining it kept me from going out to paint or sketch in public for a loooong time. Even if no one laughs at your work, there are other annoying encounters with onlookers…
Some fast and easy watercolor sketchbooks you can make yourself from the paper you usually paint on. (Part 2 of 2)