Tips on how to Decide the Proper Technique for Your Portray

Let’s cowl a tough matter: figuring out the proper technique in 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 utilize? What brushes? What colours? What type? In what order will you paint the components? What velocity will you paint? What number of classes will you want? What strategies will you utilize? 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 could result in a confused mess on the canvas.

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

This put up will cowl:

What’s the Finish Aim?

It is best to first attempt to visualize the completed portray earlier than you decide up a brush. You want an finish aim in thoughts to give you an applicable technique for the way you’re going to get there. 

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

You must also think about what you need your portray to say. That’s, what concepts in regards to the topic do you need to talk by your portray? Maybe there’s a side of the topic that you simply need to actually push and exaggerate. Or maybe you need 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 comprise hints as to what you actually need to say in regards to 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 robust 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 Photograph, 2023
Dan Scott, Perth, Cape Peron, 2023
Dan Scott, Perth, Cape Peron, 2023

What’s the Best Approach to Get There?

Upon getting an finish aim in thoughts, you need to decide the best and most effective technique 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 manner. 

Listed here are a couple of key areas to contemplate: 

  • Medium: Every medium has professionals and cons, making them roughly 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 greatest guess. Watercolors, acrylics, or gouache simply gained’t get you there. Or say you need to convey the topic in a comfortable, ethereal gentle. Watercolors could be extra appropriate right here.
  • Instruments: Will you utilize brushes or palette knives, or each? Brushes are extra versatile however palette knives have their place, notably while you want daring strokes and a straightforward clear up. 
  • Portray floor: If I plan on portray quick and unfastened 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. 
  • Strategies: Some strategies are notably 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 approach 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. 

Have in mind, you don’t must map out all the portray course of earlier than you begin. A broad plan is all that’s essential. In any case, it can probably change when you begin making your manner by the portray. Which brings me to the following level…

Be Keen to Deviate From the Technique

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

If you devise a method in 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 manner by the portray, you may notice that your technique isn’t chopping it. If that’s the case, be prepared 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 figuring out when to pivot. That is by no means a simple choice, regardless of how superior you might be as an artist. 

I often see a method by till it will get to the purpose that the portray will virtually actually fail if I preserve going. At that time, I could as properly strive a special method, as I’ve nothing to lose. I’ll additionally pivot if I see a greater or simpler technique to do issues. For instance, in my Magenta Flowers, Brisbane portray, my unique 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 more practical device 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 Measurement Matches All” Methods

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

Strategy each portray with recent eyes and an open thoughts. This manner, you possibly can tailor an applicable technique primarily based 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 simply’ll use extra typically than others. That is okay. Every time I’m not sure what route to go in a portray, I default to an ordinary sketch, colour block-in, and refine technique. It’s secure, dependable, and versatile. It won’t be the optimum technique for each topic, nevertheless it’s a very good 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 images asking how I might go about portray them and what technique I might use. The issue is, any technique I give you 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 give you the technique in your portray. You gained’t at all times decide proper, particularly for those who’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 exhibit 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 seem distinct, while additionally in concord with the encompassing panorama. The portray should look united as one. These good 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 properly right here. For the lighter areas, I might use impressionist strategies comparable to damaged colour 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 could possibly be accomplished in a single session, and the jetty could possibly be accomplished on a separate session if essential. 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 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!

Need to Be taught Extra?

You could be enthusiastic about my Portray Academy course. We’ve rolled again the worth for the following 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 at liberty to share it with buddies.

Comfortable portray!

Dan Scott

Draw Paint Academy