Saturday, September 22, 2007


Awhile back, I overheard an artist giving advice to a friend who paints. The only part I could hear clearly was, "Paint it, wipe it off, paint it, wipe it off..."

At first, this sounded like a recipe for frustration. But then I remembered when I'd done a face on watercolor canvas and I kept making "improvements." What I had at first was okay, but I wanted it better, so I kept making changes. I came to a point where I had to erase most of it (you can do that on watercolor canvas) and start over. To my surprise, it wasn't really like starting over, because the face had been created in my mind as well as on the canvas. Very few visual cues were left in place, but they were more than enough for me to re-create the whole thing.

Of course, you can't do this on watercolor paper, but if you've ever thought of painting the same scene repetedly, that would have the same effect. Try different styles, different times of day, different weather, different brightness of colors...or maybe just do it the same way. It will sink in to your consciousness and become much easier to do.