some super duper painting tips i’ve picked up:
  • don’t put your subject in the dead center of the canvas; it’s expected.
  • when painting from life: paint what you see, not what you know
  • let paint be paint; you can’t always control it, and you may like the result better if you don’t…
  • TAKE BREAKS. WALK AROUND. HYDRATE. EAT A SNACK, etc. You need to get away from your piece for a short while, even if you have to set an alarm to force you walk away periodically; it’s good for you mentally and physically.
  • paint with your whole arm, not just your wrist (please please)
  • ALWAYS STEP BACK FROM YOUR PAINTING DO IT FREQUENTLY (and/or take a picture every now and again, straight on)
  • “simplicity over complexity”
  • if you really mess up on something, make it worse
  • balance your colors; i.e., if your eye goes straight to a blue area, try adding hints of blue in a different area, and visa versa
  • composition is v important
  • angles are v important
  • try different focal points (foreshortening is an awesome way to shake things up, especially with the human figure)
  • try not to use ANY black in a colored painting; it forces you to push your knowledge of color.
  • white is your best friend for skin tones. also, regardless of skin color, there are hints of blues and greens and pinks and purples and yellows all up in there, not just peaches and browns. start off by mixing a bunch of them on your palette.
  • don’t use a color straight out of the tube; just a little bit of a complementary color will have people in awe of how you got  *that* color
  • change brushes! force yourself to use a variety of shapes and textures
  • if you don’t like someone’s critique, don’t use it
  • PUSH. YOUR. VALUES. Don’t be afraid of contrast!!!! Darken your darks, lighten your lights; avoid only using midtones!

and remember:

if you have any other questions about techniques or artstuffs, please feel free to ask me!


Art By:  Guillaume Menuel


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