Painting loosely is a state of mind… Think loose, paint loose. It is really good practice and should be fun. The following are just suggestions aimed to help you re-think your approach to painting, have fun, relax and maybe change how you look at other well known artists work.
1) Make a rough study (drawing). Leave out detail and NO outlines allowed.
2) Try to make sure your composition consists of no more than 4 - 6 simple broad shapes. Perhaps try to incorporate large areas of ‘nothingness’ to create impact!
3) Paint quickly without detail and without worrying about the finished result.
4) Rather than sitting, try standing up when painting.
5) Do short bursts of painting, then walk away from your work for a few minutes.
6) Use bigger brushes or make a larger very long (extended) brush.
7) Use a large mixing pallet.
8) Use a limited pallet of colours. yellow, red, ultramarine, Phtalo blue (greeny). You can mix most colours from this and it is much cheaper.
9) Put out plenty of colour. Use plenty of colour. You can’t paint if the colour is in the tube!
10) Acrylic: Paint can be expensive and I am mean but to help save costs I recommend big pots of Sacral Acrylic from Seawhites of Brighton £6/7 a tub. Not as good as perhaps artist quality but not bad. Their white is OK but a better quality paint has more pigment, more covering power. A better but more expensive paint is Amsterdam Expert series also available from Seawhites.
11) If you use glasses…take them off. Blurred vision in later life didn’t do Monet any harm. It can help you to be more aware of the tonal values in your work. If not, squint at your work or try closing one eye. Turn the work upside down or view it in a mirror.
Just a thought about our vision: How do we focus on a subject? For example, when you walk into a room, how do you see it. Your eyes scan the scene, but have you ever really thought about what is actually is in focus at any one time. Your eye can only focus on a limited area. Everything around and your periphery visions actually blurred!
To prove I am not all talk and to help illustrate what I was going on about, I have included below some ilustrations. A photo of the inspiring subject (a garden in Alciston), a loose sketch and my attempt at a very loose abstract painting using a limited palette. All done in situ on a rather cold damp day earlier this week).
PS: Thanks to Anne de Geus for the ideas on mixing and saving paint.