I have changed my brush so many times as an artist in the past 40 years. The one tool I use more than anything else is the 30 minute painting challenge. I require myself to paint a small painting, usually 11 X 14 inch within 30 minutes. This makes you move fast and casual. Keeps freshness to your brush. I use very thick Heritage acrylic paints and move..move move.
Step one is to apply masses of colors. Add interest. Suggest through the colors where flowers might be. No need to be perfect. As a matter of fact, you don’t want to be perfect with the first colors. This keeps your brush moving. Next begin some contrast like I am doing in the photo on the left with the darker cooler green. Notice how the white flowers started out reds, greens and yellows. That is really white. No defined shapes… just movement.
2 months ago, I was studying another artist, he made one statement that changed my brush….. completely… “while many artists paint with lights and darks to achieve interest, I will use movement to tell my story”. Wow… so true.. I decided that even a static flower painting can have movement in the flowers and background. Turn the flowers in all directions, use powerful strokes of color that break the background and cause the eye to move. Now, how to add that to my brush….. lots and lots of 30 minute, small paintings that will cause me to see painting in new ways.
If you want to see some of the painting I do in 30 minutes, head over to your YouTube channels. On my personal page https://www.youtube.com/user/JansenArtEducation I have some free ones and on our premium page I have about 20 there. Each time I want to learn a new concept, a new technique, I try it in a smaller…fast painting. This is a great tool that everyone needs to use. Small fast paintings help you break your habits and change your brush to do new things. They are so important. Give them a try!