5 Tips To Loosen Up Your Painting Style + Free Resource Download
As artists, we sometimes get tight and rigid with our artwork which leads to overworked paintings that become lifeless. Usually, this is because we over thought our work, and under felt it. Yes, painting does involve some logical thought processes, but it’s about having fun! Staying somewhat free and loose with your painting process so you don’t overwork your paintings! Less head, more heart!
Let’s go through 5 tips to loosen up your painting style to get you back in the studio, creating art freely!
1. Limit Your Palette
Limiting your palette allows you additional flexibility to help loosen up your painting style. Keeping your palette relatively simple is a great way to let go, and focus more on other elements of your work like shapes and composition, and not so much on color.
Randomly select 2-3 colors to work with. If you need to, keep black and white available for mixing your limited colors with and run with those colors! Keep it simple! If you can get away with less colors, go for it!
It’s incredible what reducing your color palette can do for progressing your work. This is a practice I still use today as one of my painting warm ups.
Even Leonardo Da Vinci said “simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.”
2. Paint Fast
Part of loosening up in the studio is learning how to produce art quickly, and without any second guesses. Remember, we are going for more heart, and less head! When you take your time, you begin to analyze - don’t analyze! Paint fast, and with your heart. Stay in the flow of things.
If you’re not quite comfortable with painting fast just yet, start with a simple exercise. Allow yourself only 10 minutes to produce a finished painting. If that seems like a long time, make it shorter!
Painting quickly allows you to be less precious, and more productive with your artwork. It also helps you focus more on the process, and less on the result or finished product. Painting fast is one of the best ways to stay grounded in the present moment with your work.
3. Accept Change
Everything in the studio, like in life, will not go according to plan. Stay agile and keep an open mind and accept the change that comes your way! If a painting has a different plan than your original intentions - go with it!
Try to resist the urge to control every aspect of your creative process. Learn to go with the flow and allow yourself to embrace any unintended changes that may come your way during your creative process.
When you keep an open mind in the studio, you can accept change as it comes. Maybe your painting isn’t doing it for you - PAINT OVER IT! Maybe you put a hole through one of your canvases, how can you turn it into a positive? Pressure can create beautiful works, but so can the ability to remain calm, accept change, and commit to the flow of things.
4. Paint What You Feel
Art by nature is a selfish endeavor. I paint for my self expression and mental health as I believe art heals. Don’t paint just because you know something will sell - paint what you want to paint! Paint what you feel!
Your work will attract people that are genuinely interested in what it is that you do if you are painting from your heart. I know that might be terrifying, but what’s the worst that can happen? Put your heart on your canvas, and out into the world. Paint what you feel, rinse and repeat!
It’s okay if your style changes, accept it and keep painting whatever it is that compels you in the studio. There are no rules here… do whatever it is that you feel. Be free in your art.
5. Focus on The Process
Let go of the results. This isn't a masterpiece. I encourage you to quit being precious, and stay productive! One of the best ways to remain free and loose in your painting style is to keep yourself in the moment and produce a lot of work. Paint something you hate? Who cares! Move on to the next canvas. Paint something you love? Don’t stop there! Keep yourself grounded in the creative process, and focus on that: producing. If you lose yourself in the moment, I promise you will be impressed with the finished paintings you create.
Did any of this work or resonate with you? Let me know by leaving a comment below. Stay creative ya’ll!