The best way to Decide the Proper Technique for Your Portray

Let’s cowl a tough subject: figuring out the suitable technique on your subsequent portray.

Your technique is the overall plan or strategy for a way you’ll find yourself with a portray that’s devoted to the topic and conveys your concepts. It broadly covers questions like… What medium will you employ? What brushes? What colours? What type? In what order will you paint the components? What velocity will you paint? What number of periods will you want? What methods will you employ? And so forth.

I by no means used to provide technique a lot thought. I’d rush right into a portray as quickly as inspiration struck. However too typically, this could result in a confused mess on the canvas.

The proper technique could make the portray course of a lot smoother and the prospect of success a lot larger. It’s price some consideration!

This put up will cowl:

What’s the Finish Purpose?

It’s best to first attempt to visualize the completed portray earlier than you choose up a brush. You want an finish purpose in thoughts to provide you with an acceptable technique for a way you’re going to get there. 

For those who can’t visualize a completed portray, maybe that topic isn’t price portray!

You also needs to think about what you need your portray to say. That’s, what concepts concerning the topic do you wish to talk via your portray? Maybe there’s a facet of the topic that you simply wish to actually push and exaggerate. Or maybe you wish to convey the topic in a sure gentle or temper or type. Attempt to bear in mind your first impressions of the topic. These impressions are gold and often include hints as to what you actually wish to say concerning the topic. I’ll offer you an instance utilizing my latest portray, Perth, Cape Peron. Beneath is the reference picture I painted from. Once I took this picture, the wind was sturdy and crisp, and the daylight was blinding. The shadows additionally had extra of a blue tint than the picture reveals. These are concepts and experiences that I attempted to convey via my portray, and they’re what make the portray distinctive and private.

Dan Scott, Perth, Cape Peron, 2023 Reference Photo
Dan Scott, Perth, Cape Peron, Reference Photograph, 2023
Dan Scott, Perth, Cape Peron, 2023
Dan Scott, Perth, Cape Peron, 2023

What’s the Best Method to Get There?

After you have an finish purpose in thoughts, you must decide the best and most effective approach to get there. What’s the trail of least resistance? Take that path. You don’t get any awards for doing issues the laborious and inefficient method. 

Listed below are just a few key areas to think about: 

  • Medium: Every medium has professionals and cons, making them kind of appropriate for sure conditions. For instance, if a part of your finish purpose is to have a portray with luscious coloration and visual brushwork, then oil is your greatest guess. Watercolors, acrylics, or gouache simply gained’t get you there. Or say you wish to convey the topic in a tender, ethereal gentle. Watercolors is likely to be extra appropriate right here.
  • Instruments: Will you employ brushes or palette knives, or each? Brushes are extra versatile however palette knives have their place, significantly once you want daring strokes and a straightforward clear up. 
  • Portray floor: If I plan on portray quick and free with palette knives, I’ll use a extra sturdy floor like gessoboard. For a extra delicate end, I’ll use canvas. 
  • The order you paint the components: Will you’re employed from again to entrance? Or from easy to intricate? Or will you merely work from one space to the subsequent? I wrote about this in additional element right here. 
  • Methods: Some methods are significantly efficient for sure topics and conditions. For instance, scumbling paint with a palette knife is especially efficient for conveying snow on mountains. As is the damaged coloration method for conveying leaves, grass, and water. Simply watch out to not get caught up utilizing the identical methods over and over for a similar topics. Be versatile and open-minded in your utility of methods. 

Take into account, you don’t have to map out the complete portray course of earlier than you begin. A broad plan is all that’s needed. In any case, it should possible change when you begin making your method via the portray. Which brings me to the subsequent level…

Be Prepared to Deviate From the Technique

“Everybody has a plan till they get punched within the mouth…” Mike Tyson

Whenever you devise a technique on your subsequent portray, you’ll have restricted data to work with. You haven’t picked up a brush or made any exploratory strokes, or examined your concepts. It’s all only a plan.

As you make these first few strokes and begin working your method via the portray, you may notice that your technique isn’t slicing it. If that’s the case, be keen to pivot to discover a technique that works. 

After all, there have to be a cautious steadiness between giving a technique an intensive likelihood at success and realizing when to pivot. That is by no means a straightforward determination, irrespective of how superior you’re as an artist. 

I often see a technique via till it will get to the purpose that the portray will nearly definitely fail if I preserve going. At that time, I could as nicely strive a distinct strategy, as I’ve nothing to lose. I’ll additionally pivot if I see a greater or simpler approach to do issues. For instance, in my Magenta Flowers, Brisbane portray, my authentic technique was to make use of solely brushes with damaged coloration and multicolored strokes. However as soon as I began, it turned out that palette knives have been a simpler device for the job. So I pivoted and painted with palette knives for many of the portray. (You can see footage of this painting on Youtube.)

Dan Scott, Magenta Flowers, Brisbane, 2023
Dan Scott, Magenta Flowers, Brisbane, 2023

“One Dimension Matches All” Methods

Watch out of “one dimension suits all” methods and anybody selling them. Portray will not be so easy. It’s dynamic and may change with the topic, artist, and numerous different variables. 

Method each portray with contemporary eyes and an open thoughts. This fashion, you’ll be able to tailor an acceptable technique primarily based on the topic and what you wish to say about it. 

With that being stated, you’ll inevitably find yourself with some go-to methods that you simply’ll use extra typically than others. That is okay. At any time when I’m uncertain what course to go in a portray, I default to a regular sketch, coloration block-in, and refine technique. It’s secure, dependable, and versatile. It won’t be the optimum technique for each topic, however it’s an excellent fallback if I’ve no different choices.

Dan Scott, Color Block-In
Dan Scott, Dramatic Dawn, Caloundra, 2020

You Are the Greatest Particular person to Resolve on the Optimum Technique

Readers typically ship me reference photographs asking how I’d go about portray them and what technique I’d use. The issue is, any technique I provide you with is tailor-made to swimsuit me, how I paint, and my imaginative and prescient of the completed portray. It’s not suited to different artists. 

You are the perfect individual to provide you with the technique on your portray. You gained’t at all times choose proper, particularly for those who’re beginning out in your portray journey, however it’s higher than letting another artist choose for you.

Sensible Instance

I’ll run via a sensible instance to reveal what all this implies. Beneath is a reference picture I plan on portray once I get an opportunity. 

Dan Scott, Perth, Fraser Island, Kingfisher Bay, 2023

First, I attempt to visualize the completed portray. I see drama and heat from the sundown. The jetty is darkish and complicated. The water and open sky is shimmering. The clouds are ominous. 

What do I need the portray to say?

I wish to seize the distinctive character and nature of the jetty. I need to have the ability to have a look at the portray and acknowledge that that is the Kingfisher Bay jetty, not simply any jetty. I additionally need the jetty to seem distinct, while additionally in concord with the encircling panorama. The portray should look united as one. These good heat colours within the sky and shimmering off the water’s floor may also be a key characteristic.

What’s the best method to do that? 

I believe a mixed strategy would work nicely right here. For the lighter areas, I’d use impressionist methods reminiscent of damaged coloration and multicolored strokes. I’d additionally compress the worth vary to simplify the portray. For the jetty, I’d be imprecise in my description, leaving issues ambiguous within the shadows. However I’d be correct with the important thing particulars and issues that characterize this jetty.

I’d begin by quickly portray the sky and sea, leaving the jetty till final. The sky and sea could possibly be accomplished in a single session, and the jetty could possibly be accomplished on a separate session if needed. Ideally, although, I’d do all of it in a single session. 

I’d use medium to giant flat brushes for the sky and sea. I’d want just a few spherical brushes and maybe palette knives for the jetty. 

That ought to do it by way of technique. I’ll let you understand how the portray seems!

Need to Study Extra?

You is likely to be fascinated by my Portray Academy course. We have now rolled again the value for the subsequent few days and added a heap of bonuses.

Thanks for Studying!

I respect you taking the time to learn this put up and I hope you discovered it useful. Be happy to share it with mates.

Joyful portray!

Dan Scott

Draw Paint Academy