This week, I have a video for you! It’s about painting freely, but not with paints but with colored pencils! In the video, I talk about intuitive coloring and painting and their similarities. I also make a page for one of my art journals. Lots of art inspiration – enjoy!
Color Like a Painter – Watch the Video!
Intuitive coloring with colored pencils – isn’t that fun?!
In my painting, the main character and the focal point is a blooming weed. It appeared on the canvas right away and reminded me of Fernando Pessoa‘s poem that talks about a crop bending with the wind and then straightening once the wind stops. This kind of natural resilience that weeds also have is inspiring. In art, we usually make weeds look more like a flower. But could we loosen up and bring more life by letting the weeds be weeds?
So, I just made the big plant look a bit more defined and let it be the star of the show.
Tip #2 – Try to Ignore Color
Even if I took pictures of the painting in our garden, I have been more inspired by the untamed side of nature lately.
With my beagle Stella, I have been exploring banks and woods that look ugly but are full of layers. For Stella, layers of smells, and for me, layers of shapes and textures. I have tried not to seek the most beautiful spring flower, but develop my eye to notice other than colorful things.
What looks ugly first can be beautifully free.
Subtle changes in color can make the painting look more lively than if you throw in a bunch of strong colors.
Tip #3 – Embrace Destruction
When bringing life into art, it’s not that we have to start with life. We can look at broken and deserted things like fallen or chopped branches. They can then have another life in our art. Imagine branches falling further down and breaking the cover between the outer and inner world. What kind of life could you give them there?
Admire how the grass grows, but also, how it withers!
When we create, we can start with destruction and then use colors to make all the ugliness bloom. This way, we build a bridge between the garden and the wilderness – between the traditional beauty and nature’s aesthetics.
I don’t use references for my half-abstract paintings like this one. But I believe that things that we see and appreciate find their way to our art in one way or another.
So when you want to bring life to your art, look for life as it is in the wilderness, not only as it is in your garden.
When looking at this painting, I want to be like that weed, stand tall where I happened to fall. I want to believe there’s something unchanging in this ever-changing life that keeps us creating. I hope we can be Pessoa’s crop that straightens right away when it gets the chance!
Before you decide whether you can or can’t draw, read this!
Last week, I re-organized my art supplies. Paints and painting mediums got a more accessible location, and pens and other drawing supplies went into a closet. It was a consequence of the revelation that I had become a painter.
But instead of declaring the love for painting, this post is about drawing!
Namely, my journey in art has been gathered around finding my line. To me, the line is the voice. It’s the leading singer, while colors and heavier shapes are the rest of the orchestra. The line itself is enough to make any piece of art sing.
“I can’t draw” was my problem for too many years. Then I realized that we define drawing too narrowly.
We aim for the skills of drawing realistic objects and then end up worrying about the stiffness of our work. “I want to be more spiritual, I want to be more abstract, I want to see me in my drawings.” Have you ever thought like this?
My solution was to abandon references and start drawing circles.
Don’t Just Draw Circles!
Those years spent with circles now felt like a waste of time. I didn’t have guidance for freehand drawing, and I did what felt comfortable at first. But circles are closed and rigid shapes, and when you want to open up and loosen up, you need to open and loosen your circles too.
Here’s a short 4-minute video from 2017 that shows how you can move forward from drawing circles.
Drawing – like any art – has two sides.
One side is a skill of controlling a pen or a brush so that the result is attractive and aesthetically pleasing. But drawing is also a skill of getting out of control and expressing the limitlessness of the mind.
For me, exploring drawing from the other angle was ground-breaking.
I developed a class called Inspirational Drawing, where we draw and color freely but also use inspiration images to boost imagination. Inspirational Drawing 2.0 is the latest version of this popular class.
You know you can draw when drawing feeds inspiration.
When I paint, I start with a vague idea and go where happy accidents lead me. I don’t need much to get started. The first idea can be just a color combination from an old painting.
By practicing inspirational drawing, I found my living line, and the energy that’s packed into it is enough for any sized painting. My line sings, and the rest of the orchestra supports it.
So, isn’t it sad if we try to improve our art without paying any attention to our line? If we try to release the expression without releasing the line, giving the full power to the leading singer? If we say we can or can’t draw without allowing free expression?
This week, I talk about being unique and loosening up in a video. You also get to see me working with a new oil painting.
Your Art and Loosening Up – From a Former Engineer
With the video below, I want to get you to think about how much you do layering. But this time, I don’t talk about the actual layers of the painting, but the layers of you and your life – the more abstract stuff. Namely, we often lead our artistic direction too literally and don’t allow contradictory or silly ideas. I hope you enjoy this video!
This is a little different than many of my videos. I would be interested to hear how you like it! Do leave a comment!