It is just reality that certain painting techniques and tools will get more of your attention than others as you develop your artistic interests and style. But knowing how to paint the way you want to paint should still leave room for new things, too–painting materials that you might have never come across before or a new painting approach. Or it might be going back in time a bit–revisiting painting lessons you learned long ago.
For example, I often forget just how helpful it is to have a color chart at my side when painting, detailing tube colors and the mixtures that can be created from them in combination with others. They can show primary color mixtures, secondary color mixtures, and can even be tailored to the color palette of a specific painting you are creating.
Also, how rewarding and eye-opening can it be to open up old sketchbooks and see what jogs your memory? Whether it is notes from an instructor that you jotted in the margins, ideas that you might have had for projects that didn’t get fully fleshed out, or an exploration of how to paint a picture in a way that you haven’t thought of in ages. All of these can be helpful in our art!
I’m also a fan of turning failed paintings into new works. It is a great idea for any painting artist to see how an old canvas or board can be given a new life. If you have an oil painting with a slick surface that you want to reuse, try to wipe the surface with a cloth soaked in mineral spirits. Allow it to dry. If that doesn’t work, use a mixture of half mineral spirits and half linseed oil and let the surface dry. Or you could always apply a coat of thinned white oil color, let it dry, and then start on your new painting–learning from what you’ve recently covered over.
And you can always learn new painting tips (or rediscover painting lessons you may have forgotten) from one of our greatest assets–professional artist-instructors like Julie Gilbert Pollard. Pollard’s new artist kit, Oil Painting Unleashed (available also as a digital bundle) is full of offerings that will help you learn to paint the way you want to and enhance your painting techniques for the better. Enjoy!