Volume, Speed and Accuracy to Change Your Painting

Here we have a couple of 30 minute paintings I painted in the studio yesterday as a study. Limited strokes. I will do most of the painting with my finger and then plan some movement with my brush. I have found that painting with the brush has more power of movement that painting with my finger, so I start many of my paintings by creating casual movement with my hands. Thank goodness for non toxic acrylics! Strokes have power. Lots of it. Use them wisely in your painting. Plan your work. Today, I will be painting with friends. The challenge will be to paint a rose with your hand and brush, but, you can only use that brush for a few strokes.

Painting with your hand and then the brush is a teaching and learning method. It works! This past few years I have used volume, speed and accuracy to teach new methods to paint. Repetitive painting (volume) teaches you direction. If you understand where you are going you will paint it better. You paint better when you know what is coming next. Speed keeps you from playing. If you are like me, you will play and play with the flowers until they all look the same. Give yourself 30 minutes to paint a group of flowers and you have to move! No time to make if perfect and guess what, it will have more life and energy.

The key is to make all flowers different. Nature does. That can come very easy with speed. So I time my paintings. I don’t say it as a brag to everyone “look how fast I painted this”. I say it to keep my students from playing. If you are painting casual, move the brush! Taking all day to paint a rose is not a good thing. It means there is something you can’t see. Speed forces you through the rules, over and over until you can learn them. You learn through repetition. Speed increase the repetition.

Accuracy… put a brush in my hand and give me 2 hours to paint and I will play and play… Put a brush in my hand, give me 30 minutes and I will paint fast and casual. That is me. Now, I add accuracy. I have a tendency to just stroke and stroke. So teachers limit the strokes. Today, I will do some paintings, allowing myself to only stroke a rose 10 times. I can use my finger as much as I want because it is more casual. But, the brush is powerful and for me instills a powerful stroke. So I have to be very careful where I place them. You can give the impression of flowers without painting too many petals. Look at these examples I painted yesterday in 30 minutes. But, I know me…. give you too much time with a brush and I will stroke everything…. so, break that habit. Allow yourself to paint a rose with only 10 strokes. This forces you to be very accurate with the placement of those strokes. You learn to not only see differently, but also relax your painting. It works… Can’t wait to go to the studio this morning and challenge my brush!!! Happy painting!

One Reply to “Volume, Speed and Accuracy to Change Your Painting”

  1. Hi Dave,
    This is so great ! Lots of great information we all need to learn or be reminded of often while studying.
    Love the blog idea and hopefully so do others.

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