FINDING YOUR WAY IN ART - LOOSEN UP.
by Angella Horner FRSA 8 February 2016
It’s unlikely that you will progress or create anything new, challenging or exciting, if you always paint in a careful and restrained way. Do you experience the feeling that all you do is create art in a very tight, neat, controlled direction and yearn to create in a more expressive, energetic, and dynamic way? Well, there are quite a few practical ways of overcoming this tendency in us all.
First you have to let go and really want to paint loosely.
Cover surfaces. It will often be a messy,
Wear loose clothing
Get everything ready before you start.
Choose energetic music
Switch off the technology.
Turn off the phone,
Ignore the doorbell
All this will give yourself the best opportunity to get into the flow
Stay focused whilst painting and do not default back into old habits.
Restate your intention from time to time can help you refocus
Small equals tightness and restraint!
LONG BRUSHES or BRUSHES ON STICKS
Try putting brushes on sticks to get the stretch of the whole arm rather than from the wrist. This encourages quick loose movements and you will create some unexpected marks
Keep paint thin as thick paint inhibits loose painting. Add a few splashes and drips.
CREATE MORE THAN ONE PIECE AT A TIME
Spreading your attention stops too much focusing on details, and paintings tend to inform each other with discoveries of new marks or colour combinations.
Break from time to time. Step back or have a coffee.
The longer you’re at the easel, the easier it is to head into a funnel of small details.
Shorter bursts keep things fresh and loose.
WHERE DO I GO TO NOW?!
As soon as you pause and think where do I go now STOP. Stopping before it’s finished can introduce new ideas about what finished means.
WORK STANDING UP.
This allows for more freedom of movement, not to mention dancing to music. try dancing while painting, get your whole body involved, and see the means larger, looser brush strokes you will create
USE YOUR OTHER HAND
See how different your art looks when you are in less control of it.
PRACTICE BLIND CONTOUR PAINTING.
Brilliant as warm up excercises
LOOK AT ART CREATED BY OTHERS
Check out “Drawing and Painting People: A Fresh Approach” by UK artist Emily Ball which is packed with fantastic loosening up exercises to broaden your imagination and release your marks. Don’t feel limited by the subject – the exercises can be used beyond figurative art.
Scribble - Some of the most beautiful abstract art is created from energetic scribbling.
If you find yourself starting to tighten up, be bold and paint over it with loose, gestural marks. Layers make for richer paintings and letting go is an excellent practice
USE LARGER BRUSHES
A great way to stop yourself getting all detailed and finicky
Step back from your work and squint to see colour and tone more clearly.
TRY OUT DIFFERENT MARKS
Use three or four colours and make brief, gestural marks on top of each other, so that each new one is different from the one before. This can introduce you to new marks and to using them in a loose and expressive way.
Angella Horner FRSA 8 February 2016
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