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Weekly Blog on creativity and what it takes to be an artist by David Limrite (artist, teacher, mentor & coach)


Copyright 2017 David Limrite Artist Teacher Coach Mentor 10 Loosen-Up Tips.jpg

Continuing my explorations into figurative abstraction. Mixed media on wood, 10”x 8”.
© 2017 David Limrite

“When the individuality of the artist begins to express itself, what the artist gains in the way of liberty, he loses in the way of order.”
Pablo Picasso

10 Tips For Creating Looser Paintings

Many artists I know wish they could paint more freely and unencumbered. They want to “loosen-up”! However, they either don’t now how or are unwilling to really let go and give it a try. I have spent most of my painting career gradually learning how and trying to “loosen-up” my work.

Here are 10 of the most important things I have learned and that have really helped me in my quest to “loosen-up”:

1. Be willing to be surprised.

2. Don’t care about the outcome. Focus on process not product. Detach from the outcome. (Use whichever of these resonates best for you.)

3. Focus your interest on something other than your subject matter. (For example: brush stroke, color, shape, texture, etc.)

4. Work quickly.

5. Keep your brush off your painting surface more than on.

6. Create several smaller pieces in rapid succession.

7. Start the painting as loose and abstract as you can right from the beginning.

8. Work energetically and transfer your energy through your paintbrush and onto your canvas.

9. Paint emotionally from the heart, not analytically with your brain.

10. Don’t aim for perfection, and do not be afraid to make a bad painting.



Bonus Tip #1: Use a brush that is either cheap or inferior in quality, and/or big enough to be slightly uncomfortable or clumsy to use.

Bonus Tip #2: Use colors that you don’t like or are uncomfortable with.

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