10 easy strategies to enhance your artistic abilities
The First Art Newspaper on the Net    Established in 1996 Saturday, July 13, 2024

10 easy strategies to enhance your artistic abilities

When it comes to painting, there are numerous factors at play, both technical and basic. The small strategies that help raise the artmaking are something I don't frequently hear about. In this session, I'll focus on the processes that are not really commonly taught, particularly those related to acrylic and colored pencil works. Understanding the fundamentals is vital, but it's the small details that will set your work apart.

I've been a freelance artist for nearly a decade, and I'd like to share some of the key lessons I've learned along the road, such as how I use acrylic glaze and wax-based pencils to depict the skin's natural glow.

I'll discuss what to do after a painting is finished, in addition to discussing my painting techniques. Finding appropriate scanners and frames are essential parts in preserving your artwork for the future. Every artist develops their own particular art-making strategies over time, so continue creating art, learning, growing, and sharing what you've learned to keep the inspirational cycle going for everyone else.

1. Concentrate on the outline

Try outlining with a different color than black

People beginning to draw frequently make the error of focusing far more on the form inside the lines of an image instead of the line itself. Colored lines form the edges, which have a high chroma value. Instead of utilizing black lines to outline objects, consider something with a medium to high chroma.

For skin, use Terracotta to outline the figure, which will give it a natural sheen. Trace the rim of objects that catch light, such as a blue roof on a sunny day, with a Pure blue colored pencil. This is also an excellent method for establishing focal points. The element's colorful outer edges help to bring it to the foreground and direct the viewer's attention to it.

2. Create a sense of color harmony

To establish color harmony, tone your paper with gentle washes
It's easy to get carried away while working with a large color pallet, resulting in a flashy painting full of dissonant colors. An excellent way to do this is to tone the paper with gentle strokes of paint to harmonize your palette.

I produce a mixture of dazzling blue and Cadmium red paint and add a few thin washes of it after transferring my drawing to hot press watercolor paper. The paper has taken on a purple tinge and is now a couple shades darker. Subsequent layers of color will react to these first washes, resulting in a more coherent palette by sharing this commonality.

3. Capture natural forms

Allow the borders to seep into one another for a more natural look.

Acrylic paints, which are water-based, are perfect for capturing organic structures like clouds, greenery, and cloth. Objects with a lot of billowing texture can indeed be scary, but you'll find that the water takes care of the majority of the job. All you have to do is be courageous and let go of the underlying control that we all possess.
Allow your washes of pain to find their own forms when creating these shapes. Allow your brush to move around freely and make accidental, unplanned strokes. Allow the edges to blend together. The less influence you have over the outcome, the more natural it will be.

4. Don't use your brush as if it were a pencil

Brush strokes should not be overly exact

I used to have a nasty tendency of handling the brush like a.05 mechanical pencil. I'd carefully apply each paint stroke, resulting in static movement in my figures and their clothing.

Hold your brush freely and use the full range of motion of your wrist to create flowing, organic forms and gradients. Turn the brush's belly at extreme angles to create your paint strokes. If it's not absolutely essential, don't dab. This also allows you to change the softness of the paint stroke's edge.

5. Only use a small amount of white paint

Use the paper rather than pain to add in white to create the different tones of the skin.

The natural whiteness of the paper is used for the majority of the whiteness in my works. I'll use Titanium whites to enhance on occasion, but only when necessary. White paint appears dreary to me: it has a poor brightness despite being light on the value scale.

I suggest that you plan what you're going to pain beforehand, deciding where you want the highlights to go. Every shine on the woman's cheekbone, for example, is left alone, as are the highlights around her nose and chin.

6. Use the appropriate pencil for the task

Make absolutely sure you use the correct pencil for the job at hand

I like using color pencils of two types, both of which are crafted with wax. The opaque yet creamy textures are achieved by using the Prismacolor Premier pencils. Because they have a soft core and repel water, they are only employed at the conclusion of the painting process to correct faults and solidify shapes.

A firmer yet thinner wax is used to make the Prismacolor Verithins to ensure you capture the perfect details and tiny lines. They're usually water-soluble, so they're great for acrylic washes. The Verithins excel in promoting dark values.

Acrylic washes and sharpened lines, such as the edge of an ear lobe, are tough for me to achieve.

7. Transfer the sketches

To prepare your sketch for transfer, lighten it up

When it comes to sketch transferring, you can use a projector, a light box, or, what my personal favorite is, a large-format printer. I lose the vitality of the original sketch when I transfer it to a projector and light box.

You can keep the spirit of the lines while also saving hours of work. The direct print of your sketches allows you to print the sketch directly on to watercolor paper. The best part is that the pigments become archival. To prepare your sketch for transfer, brighten it to the point where it's hardly visible - after all, it's supposed to act as a template. The lines can then be redefined by tracing them with a colored pencil.

If you're unsure which printer to choose, check out this list of the top printers.

8. Add a touch of iridescence to your design

Embellishments, such as gold leaf, can provide a special touch

Embellish your work with an iridescent sheen to offer an extra degree of dimension. Gold leaf and Pebeo Paints are two ways to distinguish it, and collectors flock towards them. It's quite desirable to have that special bit of authenticity.

Apply a coat of matte medium to your artwork before adding the decorations. This protects the artwork by acting as an isolation layer. It also adds a touch of bite to the surface. Use a pipette to add dazzling gold drips to your finished painting with Pebeo Paints, an oil-based iridescent medium via an enamel texture. Allow at least 48 hours for drying, particularly if the application was thick.

9. Finish with glazes

The wet-on-wet technique.

Painting with acrylics is a time-consuming procedure for me. Glazing is a technique in which I paint my way starting from light and then make my way to the dark with diluted paint washes. The alue of the painting is darkened while the form is produced by layering layers on top of one other. A typical painting consists of 50-80 glazes created using various watercolor techniques. Just use wet-on-wet technique for wide regions that require a soft edge, such as a horse's muscle texture. Use wet-on-dry for smaller features that require sharp edges, such as a ribbon.

10. Paint strokes should be blended together.

Achieving a smooth gradient necessitates the use of blending.

Although paint strokes can give a painting a fantastic texture, there are occasions when a seamless gradient in the artwork is preferable. I propose greatly diluting the paint using water then executing with a soft touch to blend paint strokes. Don't go overboard with the applications, and take your time building value on the paper. Like just an iron set over low heat, layering glazes upon glazes with paint upon top of one another will gradually smooth out the strokes. If the painting strokes are still stubborn, carefully blend it away using a pencil in a neutralizing color.
Get Started Now!

It is all about patience and taking it one-step at a time. You don’t have to just read through online blogs but also go through proper art books. I for one love going through them and improving my skills. Eveything I share here is a segment of all things that I have understood through those books. There are some great books you can find on the Jekkle website where I get most of my books. Plus, you also get a great discount when you use the Jekkle coupons which I usually use from Super Saver Mama.

For those wondering where I get my art supplies that I have mentioned above from, well, I get them from the online store Crazy Sales. They have everything I need and you can also find the Crazy Sales Australia coupons on Super Saver Mama.

So now you know how to improve your art, where to get the best support and supplies from. What is stopping you from working on your art skills now?

Hope you have a great time putting what you’ve learnt to paint, happy painting!

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