What is the ‘perfect painting’.
Like any art form, what makes a perfect painting is subjective. There is no way to say one painting is perfect and another is not. However, from the eyes of the artist, perfection is often a distant hope. We are always more critical of our own work.
What makes a perfect painting depends on how the artist feels about their work. This can mean sometimes testing out new styles and techniques for painting. It also means thinking about the style of painting, materials, and how to go about creating a certain effect.
What is important to remember about painting is that every artist will have their own unique style and how the artist conveys their style is up to them, what is considered perfect by one person, may not be by another. As long as you are happy with your work, that is all that matters.
What kind of painting?
One of the first things to consider before you start wondering about what tips and tricks you can use, is to know what materials you will use. In painting, there are many types of paints you can choose from. Of course, the most popular options are acrylic, oil, and watercolor. Make sure that whatever your style, you get the adequate supplies to do so. So, if you are thinking of using watercolor, make sure you have the right watercolor supplies for artists.
Now, we have covered this, it is time to look at what tips and tricks you can use to create the perfect painting, regardless of your style, and what materials you have chosen.
#1. Under-painting for vibrancy.
Many artists will forget about this rule with painting, but when you use oil or acrylics, you should not work from a white base. This is why you should create an underpainting, with burnt umber or burnt sienna and phthalo blues, to better establish your shadows and other values.
Acrylics are probably the best to use at the moment, as they dry quickly. If you use oils, try to work from thin layers of paint up to thick, because oils are more slow drying.
#2. Think about your brushes.
Consider your brush use. It is worth getting a wide variety of brushes, of all types and textures. Flat brushes, pointed, thin, thick, etc. It pays off to have variety. Brushes for detailing and base colors are very important. Make sure that you have a wide array, you don’t want to be attempting detailing work when all you have is wide brushes.
#3. Think about your textures.
Textures can be important. Some artists may want to blend the paint in smooth transitions, whereas others would like more texture in their paintings, so they can see their own brushwork.
Anything can add texture. Of course, you can get special tools for this, but if you are short on cash, look around the house. A scrunched up tissue can work wonders, eggshells can give an interesting aesthetic. Use your imagination, everything is a texture applicator if you use your imagination.
#4. Consider trying Sgraffito for effect.
Another way to create texture and interesting paint effects is Sgraffito. Removing paint can be important, which is what this is. You scratch away paint while it’s wet to expose the underpainting. This works well if you need to show scratches, hair, grass, and so on. You can use almost anything for this. Rubber shaping tools, the end of a brush, a ruler edge, a pen nib with no ink in it, clothing tags, and so on, can all be used for sgraffito.
#5. Glaze to enhance.
Finally, let’s remember the importance of glazing. Glazing is when you lay a coat of transparent paint over a dry part of the painting. It’s a lot like when you paint your nails, you put a clear layer over the colored layer to hold it in. In painting, though, it doesn’t hold the color in, instead it is a useful tactic for intensifying shadows and modulating the color. A transparent blue over dry yellow will turn it green though, so make sure it is clear, or at least matches the colors you have used.
Glazing is used in many paintings, it is even a technique used to keep old paintings in galleries alive. In places like the Louvre, paintings will be glazed to maintain the color as part of maintenance. Check out videos on YouTube of professionals using glazing to maintain famous Da Vinci and Van Gogh paintings in optimal condition. Never underestimate the value of a good glaze.