How you can Decide the Proper Technique for Your Portray

Let’s cowl a tough matter: figuring out the precise 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 trustworthy to the topic and conveys your concepts. It broadly covers questions like… What medium will you employ? What brushes? What colours? What model? In what order will you paint the components? What pace will you paint? What number of periods will you want? What methods will you employ? And so forth.

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

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

This submit will cowl:

What’s the Finish Objective?

You must first attempt to visualize the completed portray earlier than you decide up a brush. You want an finish aim in thoughts to provide you with an acceptable technique for a way you’re going to get there. 

When you can not visualize a completed portray, maybe that topic isn’t price portray!

You also needs to take into account what you need your portray to say. That’s, what concepts in regards to the topic do you wish to talk by way of 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 model. Attempt to keep in mind your first impressions of the topic. These impressions are gold and often include hints as to what you actually wish to say in regards to the topic. I’ll provide you with an instance utilizing my latest portray, Perth, Cape Peron. Under is the reference picture I painted from. After 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 exhibits. These are concepts and experiences that I attempted to convey by way of 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 Picture, 2023
Dan Scott, Perth, Cape Peron, 2023
Dan Scott, Perth, Cape Peron, 2023

What’s the Best Option to Get There?

Upon getting an finish aim in thoughts, it’s best to decide the simplest 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 onerous and inefficient method. 

Listed below are a couple of key areas to think about: 

  • Medium: Every medium has execs and cons, making them kind of appropriate for sure conditions. For instance, if a part of your finish aim is to have a portray with luscious colour and visual brushwork, then oil is your finest wager. Watercolors, acrylics, or gouache simply received’t get you there. Or say you wish to convey the topic in a mushy, ethereal gentle. Watercolors is perhaps 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 simple 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 following? 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 colour method for conveying leaves, grass, and water. Simply watch out to not get caught up utilizing the identical methods again and again for a similar topics. Be versatile and open-minded in your utility of methods. 

Take note, you don’t have to map out the whole portray course of earlier than you begin. A broad plan is all that’s essential. In any case, it’ll possible change when you begin making your method by way of the portray. Which brings me to the following level…

Be Prepared to Deviate From the Technique

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

If you devise a method on your subsequent portray, you’ll have restricted info 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 by way of the portray, you may notice that your technique isn’t chopping it. If that’s the case, be keen to pivot to discover a technique that works. 

In fact, there should be a cautious steadiness between giving a method an intensive probability at success and understanding when to pivot. That is by no means a simple choice, regardless of how superior you’re as an artist. 

I often see a method by way of till it will get to the purpose that the portray will virtually definitely fail if I hold going. At that time, I could as properly attempt a special 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 colour and multicolored strokes. However as soon as I began, it turned out that palette knives had 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 Measurement Suits All” Methods

Watch out of “one measurement 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 recent eyes and an open thoughts. This fashion, you’ll be able to tailor an acceptable technique based mostly on the topic and what you wish to say about it. 

With that being mentioned, you’ll inevitably find yourself with some go-to methods that you simply’ll use extra usually than others. That is okay. Each time I’m not sure what course to go in a portray, I default to an ordinary sketch, colour block-in, and refine technique. It’s secure, dependable, and versatile. It may not be the optimum technique for each topic, but it surely’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 Individual to Resolve on the Optimum Technique

Readers usually 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 one of the best individual to provide you with the technique on your portray. You received’t at all times decide proper, particularly should you’re beginning out in your portray journey, but it surely’s higher than letting another artist decide for you.

Sensible Instance

I’ll run by way of a sensible instance to display what all this implies. Under 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 complex. The water and open sky is shimmering. The clouds are ominous. 

What do I would like the portray to say?

I wish to seize the distinctive character and nature of the jetty. I would like 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 look distinct, while additionally in concord with the encircling panorama. The portray should look united as one. These sensible heat colours within the sky and shimmering off the water’s floor can even be a key characteristic.

What’s the simplest method to do that? 

I feel a mixed strategy would work properly right here. For the lighter areas, I’d use impressionist methods comparable to damaged colour and multicolored strokes. I’d additionally compress the worth vary to simplify the portray. For the jetty, I’d be obscure 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 may very well be finished in a single session, and the jetty may very well be finished on a separate session if essential. Ideally, although, I’d do all of it in a single session. 

I’d use medium to massive flat brushes for the sky and sea. I’d want a couple of spherical brushes and maybe palette knives for the jetty. 

That ought to do it when it comes to technique. I’ll let you know the way the portray seems!

Wish to Be taught Extra?

You is perhaps thinking about my Portray Academy course. Now we have rolled again the worth for the following few days and added a heap of bonuses.

Thanks for Studying!

I admire you taking the time to learn this submit and I hope you discovered it useful. Be at liberty to share it with buddies.

Completely happy portray!

Dan Scott

Draw Paint Academy