Tuesday 19 March 2024

the art of loosening up


Watercolour of Refugio San Vicende, Pyrenees, Spain

Lately, I've been loosening up and relaxing a little in my paintings. Having fun and being bold. It's exciting!

When I want to let go and paint with abandon, here are few things that help me. I thought you might find something in this list that speaks to you.
  1. Painting standing up ​
    When I stand at a distance from my painting, I can’t paint tiny details. I also need to hold my brush further back so I can reach the paper, so my brush strokes are looser.
  2. Embracing larger brushes
    It’s rather obvious that you can’t paint little details with a large brush, but there’s also something else. A large brush holds a lot more paint, so you can paint for longer without going back to the palette, allowing me more time to lose myself in each brush stroke.
  3. Stocking up on paper ​
    Having plenty of paper at hand encourages experimentation without fear of wasting materials. I also paint on the back of old paintings, on paper I’ve never thought of trying, pieces of cardboard, anything!
  4. Exploring forgotten colours
    I notice that some colours on my palette run out fast and need topping up often. Others almost never. So I’ve been using colours from my palette that I haven’t touched in a while. I’m discovering new and forgotten colour combinations and I make sure to swatch and label my new favourites for later use.
  5. Experimenting with brush strokes
    For sure, after a while my brush becomes an extension of my hand. But, it’s easy for me to forget to push the limits of a brush. So I’m experimenting a lot with mark making.
  6. Keeping some creations private ​
    Not every painting needs to be shared—keeping some as personal experiments adds a sense of freedom.

Here’s to the joy of experimentation! I hope this inspires you to step outside your comfort zone and try something new.

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Friday 8 March 2024

a rock sculpture on the beach


watercolour seascape

Join me on my favourite beach on the north coast of Spain. We visit every September and part of the tradition is that David builds these huge rock sculptures and I sketch them. Now you can paint one with me too!

Besides the sculpture itself, we have a lovely rainy sky, a sunny beach and a few lapping waves. So a few different elements for you to explore.

Also! Make sure you watch right to the very end, as we have a little surprise for you after my sign off :-)

Happy painting!

Full video tutorial on Patreon and Renee's Studio.