Saturday, July 28, 2012

Painting Fast & Loose ...aceo Landscapes

'Morning Light'          3.5 x 2.5            pastel        bid on ebay here

'A Walk Through Time'          2.5 x 3.5        pastel       bid on ebay here
Fast and Loose may not be everyone's style.  You may be more deliberate and work slowly. You may not want to paint 'loose'. In fact when I was new to painting I had a very loose style. It was my natural tendency and yet I wanted to have my paintings look more refined and detailed.  I now embrace my style and try to make the best paintings possible but I know what it is like to want to paint differently. I encourage my students to try different techniques and styles for fun and to see what they might apply to their usual way of working. Painting Fast & Loose is one of the things we have tried.
  • We have done small 5x7 10 minute studies and these quick paintings allow us to simplify our subjects because we are limited with our time. It is also an excellent way to make use of limited painting times!
  • Prepare several pieces of paper in advance so you can work quickly and efficiently. Choose some random reference photos....remember this is a quick process. Sometimes we spend so much time agonizing over what to paint that we don't get much painting time!
  • Try this variation: choose one reference photo and then paint several quick studies of the same photo changing something in each painting.
  • 5x7 is good but 2.5 x 3.5 is even better!  If you really want to simplify and paint quickly try to do some of these minis. Set a timer because you can still get a lot of detail in a tiny painting if you spend enough time!
I am going to try to paint at least 10 mini pastels each week. They are relaxing to do and I learn so much from them. They are also a great size to experiment with color and techniques!

2 comments:

Dawn Hartigan said...

Karen,
I recently taught a fast and loose painting class with a few students and found they really felt uncomfortable painting loose. They wanted it to be more like what they were used to. I think it is hard for some people to move in that direction even for practice. but I totally agree with you that it is very freeing and I alway learn something when I can let go of my preconceived idea of what I think it should look like and let the paint ( or pastels) just flow. Your work is so beautiful almost dreamlike.

Karen said...

I agree Dawn! I made sure to tell the class at the beginning that we all have our own unique style and way of working and that the main purpose of this exercise was to have them paint more often because they could do quick studies without the pressure of a perfect finish. At the end of the class everyone really enjoyed the freedom and did some great little paintings. It was a good change of pace for them. Thanks for the comments. I really appreciate you reading my blog!