The best way to Decide the Proper Technique for Your Portray

Let’s cowl a difficult matter: figuring out the appropriate technique to your subsequent portray.

Your technique is the final plan or strategy for the 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 utilize? What brushes? What colours? What model? In what order will you paint the components? What pace will you paint? What number of classes will you want? What strategies will you utilize? And so forth.

I by no means used to provide technique a lot thought. I might rush right into a portray as quickly as inspiration struck. However too usually, I might find yourself with a confused mess on the canvas, uncertain proceed.

The best technique paired with the appropriate topic could make the portray course of a lot smoother and the prospect of success a lot higher. It’s value some consideration!

This publish will cowl:

What’s the Finish Objective?

It is best to first attempt to visualize the completed portray earlier than you choose up a brush. You want an finish aim in thoughts to give you an applicable technique for the way you’re going to get there. 

In the event you 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 means of your portray? Maybe there’s a side of the topic that you just wish to actually push and exaggerate. Or maybe you wish to convey the topic in a sure mild or temper or model. Attempt to keep in mind your first impressions of the topic. These impressions are gold and often include hints as to what you actually wish to say in regards to the topic. I’ll offer you an instance utilizing my current portray, Perth, Cape Peron. Under is the reference picture I painted from. Once I took this picture, the wind was robust and crisp, and the daylight was blinding. The shadows additionally had extra of a blue tint than the picture exhibits. I attempted to convey these concepts by means of my portray.

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

What’s the Best Strategy to Get There?

After you have an finish aim in thoughts, you need to decide the simplest and best approach to get there. What’s the trail of least resistance? Take that path. You don’t get any awards for doing issues the exhausting and inefficient manner. 

Listed below are a couple of key areas to contemplate: 

  • Medium: Every medium has execs and cons, making them kind of appropriate for sure conditions. For instance, if a part of your finish aim is to have a portray with luscious shade and visual brushwork, then oil is your greatest 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 utilize brushes or palette knives, or each? Brushes are extra versatile however palette knives have their place, notably while you want daring strokes and a straightforward clear up. 
  • Portray floor: My technique can affect what floor I paint on. If I plan on portray quick and 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 components: Will you’re employed from again to entrance? Or from easy to intricate? Or will you merely work from one space to the subsequent? I wrote about this in additional element right here. 
  • Strategies: Some strategies are notably 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 shade method for conveying leaves, grass, and water. Simply watch out to not get too caught up in utilizing the identical strategies for a similar topics. Be versatile and open-minded in your software of strategies. 

Keep in mind, you don’t have to map out the complete portray earlier than you begin. A broad plan is all that’s obligatory. In any case, it is going to possible change when you begin making your manner by means of the portray. Which brings me to the subsequent level…

Be Keen to Deviate From the Technique

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

Whenever you devise a method to your subsequent portray, you could have restricted info 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 manner by means of the portray, you would possibly understand that your technique isn’t reducing it. If that’s the case, be keen to pivot to discover a technique that works. 

After all, there should be a cautious stability between giving a method an intensive probability at succeeding and understanding when to pivot. It’s by no means a straightforward determination, regardless of how superior you’re as an artist. 

I often see a method by means of till it will get to the purpose that the portray will virtually actually fail if I maintain going. At that time, I could as properly attempt a unique strategy, as I’ve nothing to lose. I’ll additionally pivot if I see a greater or simpler approach to do issues. For instance, in my Magenta Flowers, Brisbane portray, my unique technique was to make use of solely brushes with damaged shade and multicolored strokes. However as soon as I began, it turned out that palette knives have been a simpler software for the job. So I pivoted and painted with palette knives for a lot of the portray. (You can see footage of this painting on Youtube.)

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

“One Measurement Matches All” Methods

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

Method each portray with recent eyes and an open thoughts. This fashion, you possibly can tailor an applicable technique based mostly 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 just’ll use extra usually than others. That is okay. Every time I’m uncertain what path to go in a portray, I default to a regular sketch, shade 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 superb fallback if I’ve no different choices.

Dan Scott, Color Block-In
Dan Scott, Dramatic Dawn, Caloundra, 2020

You Are the Finest Particular person to Resolve on the Optimum Technique

Readers usually ship me reference photographs asking how I might go about portray them and what technique I might use. The issue is, any technique I give you 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 the perfect particular person to give you the technique to your portray. You gained’t at all times choose proper, particularly when you’re beginning out in your portray journey, but it surely’s higher than letting another artist choose for you.

Sensible Instance

I’ll run by means of a sensible instance to exhibit what all this implies. Under is a reference picture 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 need the portray to say?

I wish to seize the distinctive character and nature of the jetty. I need 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 look intricate and distinct, but part of the encircling panorama. The portray should look as one. These sensible heat colours within the sky and shimmering off the water’s floor may also be a key function.

What’s the simplest manner to do that? 

I believe a mixed strategy would work properly right here. For the lighter areas, I might use impressionist strategies reminiscent of damaged shade 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 executed in a single session, and the jetty could possibly be executed on a separate session if obligatory. Ideally, although, I might do all of it in a single session. 

I might use medium to giant flat brushes for the sky and sea. I’d want a couple of spherical brushes and maybe palette knives for the jetty. 

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

Need to Be taught Extra?

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

Thanks for Studying!

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

Completely satisfied portray!

Dan Scott

Draw Paint Academy

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