I’ve been painting for many years and I’ve finally come to the conclusion that when it comes to creating a painting, Nike has it right – Just Do It!
Just do it. Just open those tubes of paint. Just grab your favorite brush. Just situate a blank canvas on your easel. Just disrupt its emptiness with a grand flourish of a confident brushstroke.
Sounds easy enough, right?
Well, anybody who creates, knows that it’s rarely that simple. So, when that seems too daunting, I lay a blank canvas on the floor and pour paint onto it. Then I spritz water on it, sprinkle on some salt and sparkles, splash some isopropyl alcohol around, tip the canvas this way and that and, viola!, I have a colorful, sparkly mess. From there, I begin the all-important enhancement phase.
Once my sparkly mess is dry, I stare at it until a scene forms in my mind. It could be a forest glen, jagged mountain range or a far-off nebula. Whatever the case, I willingly and blissfully go wherever it leads me. I begin to emphasize (and/or add) the pine trees, mountain peaks or stars.
Now for the boring technicalities: I set out the paints that will complement the background colors. I focus on balance by not over-populating one side. I try to remember the rule of thirds – putting standout objects on the intersections of the two horizontal grid lines with the two verticals. And I put the focal point where it will have the most impact. (Not that I’ve ever been one hundred percent certain about where that is. Sigh.)
I suppose the first half of this method sounds haphazard and disorganized but it gets the creative process underway. And it can help train you to be more spontaneous and loose. If you’ve been striving to become more “painterly”, this method may help.
And it’s fun!