Wednesday, November 5, 2008

U.S. Capitol

If anyone wonders why I want to learn to paint loose, last week’s Different Strokes From Different Folks challenge is the perfect example. This is not something that I would normally choose to paint, mostly because of all the detail involved. It would just be too tedious.

When I saw the reference photo, I was determined to paint it loose and expressive. (That actually happens every time, but this time I knew I would do it!) I chose a small board and didn’t sketch it out first, didn’t even allow myself a paint sketch. I just picked up a brush and started blocking it in. A perfect recipe for loose, right? An hour later I had to laugh at myself. Loose and expressive clearly isn’t my thing. And I’m not going to get frustrated anymore because it isn’t. It is what it is.

What I did find, though, is that giving up my expectation of painting it loose and expressive did free me up a bit, so that’s worth something! I didn’t worry so much about it being perfect. If it wasn't smooth enough, too bad. If I accidentally put things in the wrong place (and I did!), I just let it be. And it did turn out pretty loose, for me. Painting it was a liberating experience, even if it wasn’t as loose as I wanted it to be.

Maybe I’ll surprise myself with this week’s challenge and truly paint it loose, and maybe I won’t. Either way, I’m okay with that.

Oil on Board

1 comment:

Vern Schwarz said...

Your paintings are beautiful. I think it is hard though not impossible to fight your natural style, and like you, I hope that I can loosen up a little as well. Less paint, less detail sounds so easy doesn't it? Good luck, although I don't really think you need it.