Set for Success
I see students struggle because they set themselves up for failure rather than success. This might seem trivial and/or obvious but here's my advise.
- Don't bite off more than you can chew. Many painters pick incredibly complicated subject matter, work from horrible photos, try to create/change a subject without the necessary knowledge or ability.
- HAVE A PLAN for your painting, do composition & value sketches, determine focal point
- Don't include the entire value scale in a painting
- Just because something is in a photo or you see it (when painting from life) doesn't mean that it should be included. Ask yourself, does it serve a purpose for making the best painting?
- Palette - spend time getting to know your palette (By now you know I'm a limited palette kinda gal) but no matter the # tubes of paint on your palette, learn how they interact with each other.
- Don't use a color just because it's pretty...pretty is overrated.
- Brushes - once again, get to know what your brushes can do. Some artists have the worst looking brushes & create masterpieces.
- Best tools - buy the best you can afford is trumped by knowing what tools you have & how to use them to their best ability
- Consistency in paint - I consistently use the same brand of paint, I know what to expect. Not all hues are the same (there can be huge differences of the same hue across brands)
- Get comfortable with your subject. Don't just dive right in. I spend time with my subject & I'm always amazed at what I see after just a few minutes of observation.
- Painting is not a speed contest. If you've only got an hour to do a painting, don't try to complete a 16x20. Perhaps a quick 6x8 study would benefit your understanding for a larger piece.
- Don't let your only goal be to complete a painting. So many students just want to have a finished piece but if you're flying through to just reach the end, then you've undoubtedly lost a lot along the way.
Remember...HOW TO EAT AN ELEPHANT?
ONE BITE AT A TIME!