How to be more expressive when you do oil painting as a beginner?

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  1. Webber224 profile image55
    Webber224posted 14 years ago

    How to be more expressive when you do oil painting as a beginner?

    I just took an introdutory workshop last weekend.  My instructor commented my painting is a bit mechanical.  He encouraged me to loosen up a bit and work faster.  I found the still life setting is so boring and we only allowed to use 1 colour.  Please give some helpful hints.  Next class's setting is fruit and we are allow to use 3 colours.  Cool!

  2. HannahLW profile image60
    HannahLWposted 14 years ago

    Being "expressive" can be difficult if you are just learning to paint. As a beginner, or if you are in an introductory state, the art class probably consists of brush stroke techniques, composition, lighting, color, etc.
    When beginning, many painters are afraid to make mistakes, or to "mess up" their paintings.
    Being expressive comes with a little risk. Like Bob Ross always said, "Let's get crazy now. Let's add a little rock right there." He always had a general idea about what he was going to paint, but he also just "let it happen".
    Oil is a very nice medium to use for expression since it blends well and doesn't dry too quickly. It is my favorite painting medium between the ones I have used in the past (acrylic and water color).
    To become a little more expressive, try little subtle things such as stroking the brush more quickly, leaving edges unfinished, making one long line with a brush, and then leaving it, make short little strokes in other places. Change it up a little. Go a little crazy, as Bob Ross would put it. Don't worry about messing up your painting. We learn best from our "mistakes".
    I am pretty certain a "mistake" will be tolerated in your class. Take a risk. Add more blobs of white. Use your blank canvas as part of the painting. Do whatever you FEEL like. If you feel frustrated that day, make the picture more violent by scraping away some of the paint. Whatever idea pops into your head, JUST DO IT. Maybe you want the shadow on the pear on the OTHER side of the fruit, on the wrong side of the light source. Just try it! You might like it.
    You could also try a helpful expression exercise: pick an object, pick a definitive kind of music (quick, angry, romantic, silly), and paint or draw the object in the way the music makes you feel. The biggest key with this exercise is not to think about it too much. Just let your hand do all the work. Don't be afraid to put a big blob of blue all over that apple!
    Another great way to start those expressive juices pumping is to look at other people's paintings and see what they are up to.

    Hope this helps. Best regards for your class and paintings!

  3. LindaCSmith profile image68
    LindaCSmithposted 14 years ago

    I don't know about your instructor's advice to work faster...however since you can use three colors, I would suggest using two Primary colors, such as Red and Yellow, and the complement for Red which is Green.  This will give you some color intensity and interest.

  4. Mike Lickteig profile image77
    Mike Lickteigposted 14 years ago

    Loosening up might help you become more expressive, but painting faster won't necessarily accomplish anything.  My first art instructor wiped her hands clean on my nice white canvas--it shocked me at the time, but demonstrated the canvas was not sacred.  Using a more "gestural" style might help, i.e., move your arm more to apply paint.  An instructor once advised me to paint a painting using a ladder.  I was instructed to climb the ladder, jump off it, and paint on my way down.  I didn't do it, but it was meant to inspire me to use the movement and rhythm of my body as part of the creative process.

    Good luck with the class if it is still going on!

  5. profile image51
    afsheen110posted 14 years ago

    being an artist i must say expressive yourself  is the most important key for any artist,because first of all whatever u r going to paint is already in your mind so give your painting a story that how and why u r painting.Keep in mind painting speak itself as u already have something in your imagination while u were creating your best piece of work.

  6. profile image49
    Cuadros Goyaposted 11 years ago

    You can only improve with practice. Take It easy, you will see improvements soon.
    I am an artist too:
    Hope you like my paintings!

  7. Robie Benve profile image87
    Robie Benveposted 7 years ago

    As others have said already, keep painting, you'll get faster and more expressive with practice.
    Once you know what to expect from each brush stroke and each color, confidence and excitement will be easier to find.
    If your goal is to get looser, my suggestions is to use big brushes, much bigger than what you would usually pick up. Especially at the beginning of a painting, nothing smaller than 1 inch.
    Happy painting!


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