Whether you use oil painting or acrylic painting, all artists eventually establish a unique paint style. It would be true to say that all approaches are acceptable. An artist’s paint style is predisposed to personality. It is your personality that makes you approach a specific painting in a certain way. Before discovering what works for you it is necessary to try out as many approaches as you can. When it comes to painting it really is true that you will only know if you try it. It is up to you to expose yourself to as many approaches as you are aware of. The more you paint the more you will experience painting in a variety of ways. It is very likely this will lead you to finding a a paint style approach that ties in with your personality in every way.
You may use a whole canvas by ‘working up’ paint all at the same time. Before you do this you must choose which are your dominant colors and tones. You must use these to loosely paint in the areas. This is also known as ‘block in’. As you work the forms and colors are developed and so are the details. Artists who favor this particular paint style or approach to painting usually do not formulate a design. They make decisions as they go along. It’s pretty easy to make changes if this method is used.
The ‘blocking in’ is not the only way to approach a painting. There are other artists who prefer working on a canvas portion by portion. This can be done by starting in one corner. Once this area is finished they progress to the next section and so on. Another way to use the canvas in portions or sections is to paint single elements onto the canvas one by one.
There are approaches that do require planning. A good example of having to plan is if you want to fill in the background before anything else. If you do this you don’t have to paint up to the edges of whatever your subject is. However, you must not paint over the subject. If this approach is going to work you have to know what you are going to paint, how you are going to paint and also the colors you are going to use. If you do make errors of judgment it is possible to fix it at a later stage.
For artists who want a paint style that is free yet significant the alla prima works well. The painter who uses alla prima finishes his or her painting in a single session. How long the session lasts depends on how fast or slow the artist works. This approach is also known as ‘wet on wet’. It means the painter does not wait for the paint to dry and then use glazing to build up the colors. The artist who uses this style will not use a big canvas.
There are artists who use a variety of approaches and painting styles and there are those who settle for mainly one primary painting style. What is important is for you to know how to use acrylic painting and oil painting techniques so that you can find your unique painting style.
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