Sometimes you're on a roll and sometimes you wield your paint brush like its a chainsaw, basically destroying your painting. Every time to even think about working on the project, it gets worse. The muddy paint blends together on your canvas in a nightmare of hours wasted. I'm not saying this is what is happening with a painting I'm working on...but yeah, that's what's happening.
When this happens you have several options.
I'd been working on painting on a portrait of a few friends of mine, and all of the sudden it seemed off. As I started working more and more on it, I felt like I was just ruining it. This is a big risk of working off of a grid.
Yeah, I said it. I drew and under-painted this one using a grid. *flinches* Don't stone me! I've used a grid on some of the large paintings I've done, just to make sure placement of things is relatively accurate (i.e. horizon lines, main components). One of the mistakes I made with the portrait, is that I became way too attached to the underpainting, when I should've used it as a guideline...or not at all.
I'm mostly inclined to never use a grid again after this. I know many of you are rejoicing because, grids are for amateurs or whatever. Get over yourselves pretentious people!
Anyway I started painting a landscape with only big brushes. No grid. No real aim. I only wanted to paint something that wouldn't let me get caught up in the details, and at this point I'm getting pretty excited about it.
Using only my larger brushes has prevented me from getting too detailed with this work too quickly (which by the way, is something that causes a lot of artists to make mistakes-obviously I am not immune).
There is still a long way to go with this one but I'm feeling it, and also...when I'm ready to go back to the portrait, I will be able to do so, and be less likely to make mistakes. Yes yes yes.
Moral of the story: When you get stuck in a rut with one project. Take a break from that project to do a completely different one.
Angela DeCamp is an Indianapolis based artist. who enjoys the finer things in life: black coffee, carnival tickets, the sound high heels make when they clickty-clack on the sidewalk.