Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Peony Pink Solo and How to Loosen Up Your Brushwork - Flower Paintings by Nancy Medina 

Peony Pink Solo
by Nancy Medina


Oil on Archival Panel

Peony Pink Solo was painted from start to finish with one brush. With very few exceptions, everything I paint is done with one brush, a 3/4 inch flat. I buy them for $1.50 each in bulk. I was trained to paint very realistically years ago, in the beginning, to copy the masters and to paint from photos. These are great training tools, but after a while I felt a bit stifled. All I really wanted to do was make color happen. I've shared all this before with you, how I switched to palette knife for 2 years and finally loosened up the straight jacket and gave up the urge to labor over minutiae. 

There are other ways to loosen up that you can try without abandoning your brushes. Purchase one rose at the market, and challenge yourself to paint that rose in 50 strokes. Then paint it in 40 strokes. Then 15. Then 10. You can also get the dreaded egg timer out and limit how much time you want to spend on each exercise. Tell yourself before you begin, this is just practice, and it doesn't matter how it turns out because no one will see it but me. The new Arches oil paper pads are perfect for these exercises, pain free for the wallet! Most of all, remember not to lose sight of why you began painting in the first place. If you lose the joy, at some point, you will no longer paint.  And that would be tragic. This world needs more artists like you adding beauty to the lives of everyone they touch, not less!

Put a little joy in your brush!

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