When faced with a complicated scene jam packed with details you have a few choices. Paint all the details, panic or try and suggest the details. If you have many weeks and lots of patience you may choose option one. If you have no idea and limited time - option two then. However, I prefer the last option and that is also the subject on my next Loose Painting lesson.
Recently I had the opportunity to paint a classic Western Cape harbour scene. Packed with typical colourful fishing boats, surrounded by sparkling water and backed by beautiful mountains. Talk about detail overload!
Use Impasto to Keep it Loose
To make matters more interesting a gave my self about forty minutes to complete the painting. I used a small panel, 10" x 12", to help with this goal. But there was all the details too. With a small format and the abundant colors I decided to use thick impasto. Especially on the boats. This would reduce the fussy details, but would also suggest many details too. The perfect compromise.
The final painting hopefully did the subject justice. It was a fun painting experience and required confident paint mixing and brushwork to avoid ending up with a muddy mess. When it works you do feel a sense of achievement as it can be quite stressful. But in a good way, if you know what I mean.
This painting is a new lesson to my course How to Loosen Up Your Painting. You will be able to catch the entire lesson on the course in early September 2017. If you are interested in the course I do have a special offer for you too.
Malcolm Dewey: Artist. Country: South Africa