Home Painting How one can Decide the Proper Technique for Your Portray

How one can Decide the Proper Technique for Your Portray


Let’s cowl a tough subject: figuring out the suitable technique to your subsequent portray.

Your technique is the overall plan or method for a way you’ll find yourself with a portray that’s devoted to the topic and conveys your concepts. It broadly covers questions like… What medium will you employ? What brushes? What colours? What fashion? In what order will you paint the elements? What velocity will you paint? What number of classes will you want? What strategies will you employ? And so forth.

I by no means used to present technique a lot thought. I might rush right into a portray as quickly as inspiration struck. However too typically, this may result in a confused mess on the canvas.

The proper technique could make the portray course of a lot smoother and the possibility of success a lot larger. It’s value some consideration!

This publish will cowl:

What’s the Finish Aim?

You need to first attempt to visualize the completed portray earlier than you decide up a brush. You want an finish purpose in thoughts to provide you with an applicable technique for a way you’re going to get there. 

If you happen to can’t visualize a completed portray, maybe that topic isn’t value portray!

You also needs to contemplate what you need your portray to say. That’s, what concepts in regards to the topic do you wish to talk by your portray? Maybe there’s a facet of the topic that you simply wish to actually push and exaggerate. Or maybe you wish to convey the topic in a sure mild or temper or fashion. Attempt to bear in mind your first impressions of the topic. These impressions are gold and normally comprise hints as to what you actually wish to say in regards to the topic. I’ll offer you an instance utilizing my latest portray, Perth, Cape Peron. Under is the reference photograph I painted from. Once I took this photograph, the wind was sturdy and crisp, and the daylight was blinding. The shadows additionally had extra of a blue tint than the photograph reveals. These are concepts and experiences that I attempted to convey by my portray, and they’re what make the portray distinctive and private.

Dan Scott, Perth, Cape Peron, 2023 Reference Photo
Dan Scott, Perth, Cape Peron, Reference Picture, 2023
Dan Scott, Perth, Cape Peron, 2023
Dan Scott, Perth, Cape Peron, 2023

What’s the Best Technique to Get There?

After getting an finish purpose in thoughts, you need to decide the best and best strategy to get there. What’s the trail of least resistance? Take that path. You don’t get any awards for doing issues the arduous and inefficient method. 

Listed below are just a few key areas to contemplate: 

  • Medium: Every medium has professionals and cons, making them roughly appropriate for sure conditions. For instance, if a part of your finish purpose is to have a portray with luscious colour and visual brushwork, then oil is your finest guess. Watercolors, acrylics, or gouache simply gained’t get you there. Or say you wish to convey the topic in a smooth, ethereal mild. Watercolors may be extra appropriate right here.
  • Instruments: Will you employ brushes or palette knives, or each? Brushes are extra versatile however palette knives have their place, significantly while you want daring strokes and a straightforward clear up. 
  • Portray floor: If I plan on portray quick and free with palette knives, I’ll use a extra sturdy floor like gessoboard. For a extra delicate end, I’ll use canvas. 
  • The order you paint the elements: Will you’re employed from again to entrance? Or from easy to intricate? Or will you merely work from one space to the following? I wrote about this in additional element right here
  • Strategies: Some strategies are significantly efficient for sure topics and conditions. For instance, scumbling paint with a palette knife is especially efficient for conveying snow on mountains. As is the damaged colour approach for conveying leaves, grass, and water. Simply watch out to not get caught up utilizing the identical strategies for a similar topics. Be versatile and open-minded in your utility of strategies. 

Keep in mind, you don’t must map out the complete portray earlier than you begin. A broad plan is all that’s vital. In any case, it is going to doubtless change when you begin making your method by the portray. Which brings me to the following level…

Be Keen to Deviate From the Technique

“Everybody has a plan till they get punched within the mouth…” Mike Tyson

While you devise a method to your subsequent portray, you’ve gotten restricted data to work with. You haven’t picked up a brush or made any exploratory strokes, or examined your concepts. It’s all only a plan.

As you make these first few strokes and begin working your method by the portray, you may understand that your technique isn’t slicing it. If that’s the case, be prepared to pivot to discover a technique that works. 

In fact, there have to be a cautious stability between giving a method an intensive likelihood at succeeding and understanding when to pivot. It’s by no means a simple determination, irrespective of how superior you’re as an artist. 

I normally see a method by till it will get to the purpose that the portray will nearly definitely fail if I maintain going. At that time, I’ll as nicely strive a unique method, as I’ve nothing to lose. I’ll additionally pivot if I see a greater or simpler strategy to do issues. For instance, in my Magenta Flowers, Brisbane portray, my unique technique was to make use of solely brushes with damaged colour and multicolored strokes. However as soon as I began, it turned out that palette knives have been a more practical software for the job. So I pivoted and painted with palette knives for a lot of the portray. (You may see footage of this portray on Youtube.)

Dan Scott, Magenta Flowers, Brisbane, 2023
Dan Scott, Magenta Flowers, Brisbane, 2023

“One Dimension Matches All” Methods

Watch out of “one dimension suits all” methods and anybody selling them. Portray isn’t so easy. It’s dynamic and may change with the topic, artist, and numerous different variables. 

Strategy each portray with recent eyes and an open thoughts. This manner, you possibly can tailor an applicable technique primarily based on the topic and what you wish to say about it. 

With that being stated, you’ll inevitably find yourself with some go-to methods that you simply’ll use extra typically than others. That is okay. Each time I’m not sure what route to go in a portray, I default to an ordinary sketch, colour block-in, and refine technique. It’s protected, dependable, and versatile. It won’t be the optimum technique for each topic, but it surely’s a very good fallback if I’ve no different choices.

Dan Scott, Dramatic Dawn, Caloundra, 2020

You Are the Greatest Individual to Resolve on the Optimum Technique

Readers typically ship me reference images asking how I might go about portray them and what technique I might use. The issue is, any technique I provide you with is tailor-made to go well with me, how I paint, and my imaginative and prescient of the completed portray. It’s not suited to different artists. 

You are one of the best individual to provide you with the technique to your portray. You gained’t all the time decide proper, particularly should you’re beginning out in your portray journey, but it surely’s higher than letting another artist decide for you.

Sensible Instance

I’ll run by a sensible instance to reveal what all this implies. Under is a reference photograph I plan on portray once I get an opportunity. 

Dan Scott, Perth, Fraser Island, Kingfisher Bay, 2023

First, I attempt to visualize the completed portray. I see drama and heat from the sundown. The jetty is darkish and complicated. The water and open sky is shimmering. The clouds are ominous. 

What do I would like the portray to say?

I wish to seize the distinctive character and nature of the jetty. I would like to have the ability to take a look at the portray and acknowledge that that is the Kingfisher Bay jetty, not simply any jetty. I additionally need the jetty to seem intricate and distinct, but part of the encompassing panorama. The portray should look as one. These good heat colours within the sky and shimmering off the water’s floor will even be a key characteristic.

What’s the best method to do that? 

I feel a mixed method would work nicely right here. For the lighter areas, I might use impressionist strategies corresponding to damaged colour and multicolored strokes. I might additionally compress the worth vary to simplify the portray. For the jetty, I might be imprecise in my description, leaving issues ambiguous within the shadows. However I might be correct with the important thing particulars and issues that characterize this jetty.

I might begin by quickly portray the sky and sea, leaving the jetty till final. The sky and sea could possibly be carried out in a single session, and the jetty could possibly be carried out on a separate session if vital. Ideally, although, I might do all of it in a single session. 

I might use medium to massive flat brushes for the sky and sea. I’d want just a few spherical brushes and maybe palette knives for the jetty. 

That ought to do it when it comes to technique. I’ll let you know the way the portray seems!

Wish to Study Extra?

You may be taken with my Portray Academy course. I’ll stroll you thru the time-tested fundamentals of portray. It’s excellent for absolute newbie to intermediate painters.

Thanks for Studying!

I recognize you taking the time to learn this publish and I hope you discovered it useful. Be happy to share it with mates. Let me know your ideas on the portray within the feedback.

Blissful portray!

Dan Scott

Draw Paint Academy

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