Save yourself some headaches by choosing subjects and creating designs that work with the medium.
Making small adjustments can help you paint more personally meaningful paintings based on photos. (Or, what happened when I tried to execute the plan we created for the boat on the river.)
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.
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!)
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.
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?”
To avoid overwhelm while sketching (or working from a complicated photo), collect “characters” now, arrange them to tell a story later.
Don’t ask “What do I need to fix?” about a painting. Here’s what to ask instead, and some tips for helping an unsatisfying painting undergo a creative metamorphosis.
Here’s an exercise to help you stimulate your creativity, loosen up or find your own style.