How to paint loosely - Beginners painting tips

I have lost count of the number of times people have said to me, "I wish I could paint more freely". I remember as a beginner (and still now) looking at very loose and expressive artworks and wishing I had the confidence to paint in what seemed to be such an effortless way. I have found that as with all things, the best way to achieve this is to practice, practice and practice.

Having said that, I thought it would be useful to put together a few tips to get you working more loosely. I have also created a video to go alongside this blog.

Tips for painting more freely:-

1. Sketch every day, keep sketches quick and avoid using an eraser. Sketching in ink is perfect for freeing up your drawing. Don't forget, your sketchbook is for you and isn't to be judged. You are learning, give yourself permission to make mistakes!

2. Draw and paint at an easel standing up. This gives you room to move. Draw with your whole arm and move from the shoulder, NOT JUST the wrist.

3. Use a BIG piece of paper.

4. Fill your paper!

5. Use a BIG brush, no fiddling with small detail brushes. Try a whole painting without changing brushes.

6. If working in watercolour, use lots of water and work wet-in-wet.

7. If working in oil or acrylic, try using a palette knife if you haven't before.

8. Set a timer, with your subject in front of you. Try the same subject a few times, firstly with only 3 minutes to work, then 5 minutes, then 10 minutes etc.

9. Relax, work with your favourite music on.

10. Enjoy and don't be too critical of your own work!

Have you any tips to share?

Please put them in the comments below.


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