How to Paint…

(«Angela» Expressionist painting by Francisco Bravo Cabrera. Image property of FBC, Omnia Caelum Studios Valencia. All Rights Reserved)

How to paint? I really never asked myself that question and I do not know any artist that has either, but…

You paint with your brush on a canvas, with your fingers, with a palette knife, with your toes, or with your entire body. You use paints, either from a tube that you bought at the art store or from ones you have mixed yourself at home. But you can also use anything and everything that would stick to a canvas and can express whatever it is that you want to say to the world.

A painting is a philosophical statement as much as it is a decorative piece. And yes, all art is decorative and there is nothing wrong with that. But all art must have meaning, must bear a message and must follow the rules of art. Of course, if you decide to break the rules, well, that is your prerogative as an artist and, of course, it implies that you know and are well aware of the rules.

So when you approach a canvas with the intent to paint, you must start with a reference. The reference can be right in front of you, like a model, or it can be within your head, as when you are creating an abstract piece. But a reference is the first step. The second step is deciding on how you want to express your message, your philosophy. You must decide on the size and the style you are going to use to paint. Then comes the idea for the composition. The rules of composition come in very handy at this time and you must know them to paint a successful canvas. Once you have all of this, then you may start to either select your palette of colours, or you can start to sketch with a pencil or charcoal.

Your palette must be carefully thought out as you will be mixing colours in an attempt to work your canvas into something interesting, yet, you can still use the paint straight from the tube. If you are an abstract artist then your choice of colours is extremely important because they will guide the composition and will tell your story. Abstract art…the good one…requires much thought and much work and you will face the same problems as with figurative art. You still have to work on the composition, the size, the style and the palette.

So, how do you paint? I’ve no idea how you will paint…

All I can say is that to create a painting you must follow some clear and well defined steps and follow certain rules. A painting is not just paint on a canvas or on a piece of paper. A painting requires much more than that…

And I would say, especially to student artists, not to worry too much about a style. Follow your ideas and look for more. Art is the search and the creative process begins way before you ever put paint on canvas. It begins with a thought that you develop, that you «paint» inside your head until you are quite certain that you can bring it out on a canvas and that it would be true to the image or idea in your mind. Of course, if you are going to paint a «still life» or a portrait or from a model, then you don’t really need to worry about the reference, what you have to concern yourself with is the expression, the intention, the soul within the model you are painting. You can express much with shadows, with the use of black paint, which is very dramatic, and with ways you can use to alter a bit the reality before you to make it expressive and more unique.


2 Comentarios

  1. beth dice:

    I would say the kinder that I teach, paint with an open heart and everything available to them.

    Le gusta a 1 persona

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