Friday, October 22, 2010

35 Ways to Radically Improve your Paintings.

  1. Cultivate a sense of wonder about your work and your ability to make it.
  2. Don't entertain negative or disparaging thoughts about your paintings.
  3. Throw yourself into the process and enjoy it.
  4. Be a learner at heart.
  5. Paint things that really excite you - not what you 'should' be painting.
  6. Plan your paintings before you start, but be open to the 'happy accident'.
  7. Choose a format that suits your subject matter.  You don't have to settle with a standard size.
  8. Practise as much as possible.
  9. Improve your drawing skills.
  10. Keep sketchbooks, journals and notebooks and use them regularly.
  11. Read about art in books and magazines.
  12. Buy good quality materials.
  13. Learn about your materials and experiment with them.
  14. Choose the right medium for the subject matter.
  15. Look after your brushes and they will work better for you.
  16. Know the difference between transparent and opaque colours, and know when to use them.
  17. Keep your water or turps clean when you are working.
  18. Don't mix too many colours together - keep them fresh.
  19. Use perspective correctly, but don't let it be mechanical and boring.
  20. Group objects in interesting ways.
  21. Use light and dark to establish mood.
  22. Make the negative spaces interesting and varied.
  23. Use more detail in the focal point of the picture.
  24. Balance the dark areas and light areas so that the painting does not seem lopsided.
  25. Stand back from your work to gauge its overall effect. 
  26. Check your tone, tone is more important than colour.
  27. Paint what you see, not what you know.
  28. Find a teacher that inspires you.
  29. Make friends with other artists and share ideas.
  30. Visit galleries and museums and look closely at the work.
  31. Paint often.
  32. Paint every day.
  33. Think about and write about your work.
  34. Store your finished works carefully so that they don't get damaged.
  35. Be grateful. That painting never existed before you made it.

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