Methods to Decide the Proper Technique for Your Portray

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

Your technique is the final plan or method for the 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 strategies will you employ? And so forth.

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

The best technique could make the portray course of a lot smoother and the possibility of success a lot better. It’s value some consideration!

This publish will cowl:

What’s the Finish Purpose?

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

In the event you can’t visualize a completed portray, maybe that topic isn’t value portray!

You also needs to take into account what you need your portray to say. That’s, what concepts concerning the topic do you need to talk by your portray? Maybe there’s a facet of the topic that you just need to actually push and exaggerate. Or maybe you need to convey the topic in a sure mild or temper or model. Attempt to keep in mind your first impressions of the topic. These impressions are gold and normally include hints as to what you actually need to say concerning the topic. I’ll provide you with an instance utilizing my current portray, Perth, Cape Peron. Under 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 exhibits. These are concepts and experiences that I attempted to convey by 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 Solution to Get There?

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

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

  • Medium: Every medium has execs and cons, making them roughly appropriate for sure conditions. For instance, if a part of your finish purpose is to have a portray with luscious shade and visual brushwork, then oil is your finest guess. Watercolors, acrylics, or gouache simply received’t get you there. Or say you need to convey the topic in a gentle, ethereal mild. Watercolors could 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. 
  • Strategies: Some strategies 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 shade method for conveying leaves, grass, and water. Simply watch out to not get caught up utilizing the identical strategies over and over for a similar topics. Be versatile and open-minded in your utility of strategies. 

Bear in mind, you don’t have to map out the complete portray course of earlier than you begin. A broad plan is all that’s obligatory. In any case, it would doubtless change when you begin making your manner by the portray. Which brings me to the subsequent level…

Be Keen to Deviate From the Technique

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

Once you devise a technique 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 manner by the portray, you may understand that your technique isn’t slicing it. If that’s the case, be prepared to pivot to discover a technique that works. 

In fact, there have to be a cautious steadiness between giving a technique an intensive probability at success and figuring out when to pivot. That is by no means a simple choice, regardless of how superior you might be as an artist. 

I normally see a technique by 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 method, 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 unique technique was to make use of solely brushes with damaged shade and multicolored strokes. However as soon as I began, it turned out that palette knives had been a simpler software for the job. So I pivoted and painted with palette knives for a lot 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 Suits All” Methods

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

Strategy each portray with contemporary eyes and an open thoughts. This manner, you’ll be able to tailor an applicable technique based mostly on the topic and what you need to say about it. 

With that being stated, you’ll inevitably find yourself with some go-to methods that you just’ll use extra typically than others. That is okay. At any time when I’m not sure what path to go in a portray, I default to an ordinary sketch, shade block-in, and refine technique. It’s secure, dependable, and versatile. It won’t be the optimum technique for each topic, nevertheless 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 Finest Particular person to Resolve on the Optimum Technique

Readers typically ship me reference photographs asking how I might go about portray them and what technique I might 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 most effective particular person to provide you with the technique on your portray. You received’t all the time decide proper, particularly in the event you’re beginning out in your portray journey, nevertheless it’s higher than letting another artist decide for you.

Sensible Instance

I’ll run by a sensible instance to show 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 need the portray to say?

I need 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 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 may even be a key characteristic.

What’s the best manner to do that? 

I feel a mixed method would work nicely right here. For the lighter areas, I might use impressionist strategies akin to damaged shade and multicolored strokes. I might additionally compress the worth vary to simplify the portray. For the jetty, I might be obscure in my description, leaving issues ambiguous within the shadows. However I might be correct with the important thing particulars and issues that characterize this jetty.

I might begin by quickly portray the sky and sea, leaving the jetty till final. The sky and sea might be executed in a single session, and the jetty might be executed on a separate session if obligatory. Ideally, although, I might do all of it in a single session. 

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

Wish to Be taught Extra?

You could be curious about my Portray Academy course. We now have rolled again the worth for the subsequent few days and added a heap of bonuses.

Thanks for Studying!

I respect you taking the time to learn this publish and I hope you discovered it useful. Be happy to share it with buddies.

Joyful portray!

Dan Scott

Draw Paint Academy