How to Paint Looser and Juicier

How to Paint Looser and Juicier

Becky Joy
I receive emails from artists telling me they want to learn to paint looser and with more paint. We all start painting tight, detailed paintings, painting what we see. I thought would make a list of things to help you move in that direction.
  • First squint, paint only what you see when you squint, blocking out detail
  • Use a large brush. I regularly use a #12 or #10 on a 6x6" painting. The larger the painting, the larger the brush.
  • Don't end up with a small brush. Use the big one right up to the end. Use a side or the tip of the brush in different ways for different strokes.
  • Mix lots of paint. I will often paint thin in the color and value that I want, then mix more paint and pile the paint on.
  • Use strokes to define shape and movement, paint the contours of things.
  • To lay paint on the canvas, load the brush. Then hold the brush so that it is parallel with the canvas like a palette knife rather than perpendicular to the canvas. This will create a bolder stroke.
  • Don't use thick paint all over the canvas. Keep it thin in the darker areas and build up with thicker paint.
  • Use more paint in the foreground, keeping it thinner in the background.
  • When you lay a nice thick, juicy stroke down, leave it alone.
  • Use larger brushstrokes in the foreground, smaller in the background.
  • Keep detail only in the focal point, that will bring your attention right to it.
  • Learn to leave the painting alone before you get too many details.
  • Lose some edges, make them soft. Take the brush and swish through an edge.
  • Keep working on it. The more you paint, the more confident you will become with your strokes.
And most important of all, have fun with the paint. Use it!

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