Make the most of your valuable time by becoming a more efficient painter, a skill mastered by Marcula Stauffer.
New artists are often surprised at the amount of time they spend painting a scene onto their canvas. For detail oriented people it can take even longer, turning one project into a seemingly never-ending task. An experienced artist can quickly cover a canvas but it’s not because they’re rushing. Each brush stroke should always be made with deliberate intentions. While experience is by far the best teacher, Marcula Stauffer shares four tips to help you meet deadlines and paint faster.
Plan Your Painting
Sometimes, the hardest part of the entire process is planning out what you want to paint and determining how you are going to achieve your desired end goal. This stage allows you to confidently begin your painting and continue moving forward without too much interruption or reflection. Marcula Stauffer suggests breaking down the painting into logical layers to avoid tedious work. Start with the background and work up to the finer details that must be placed last. Having to meticulously work around smaller components in the middle of the canvas will eat up valuable time and make you less efficient.
Use Larger Tools
Using a small brush does not equate to only making small mistakes. Small brushes should be used for fine details only. Pick up a large filbert paint brush to cover the canvas quickly, making every mark with deliberate intention. Marcula Stauffer will sometimes recommend using a palette knife, which can quickly spread out paint across a canvas and make large marks. Palette knives are very commonly used for acrylic and oil paintings.
Use Gestural Strokes
Using the full motion available in your arm, make bold strokes that capture the backbone of your scene. Think about how each component is connected, and put down the general outline of what is about to take place. Learning this skill is very difficult for those who regularly practice realist painting, however, Marcula Stauffer believes it’s useful across a wide variety of popular painting styles.
Choose a simple subject that will require little attention to fine detail. As you gain more experience, it can be easier to take on more complicated concepts. Marcula Stauffer notes that artists can also choose which areas of the scene need the most focus and accuracy, allowing you to simplify the background and remaining areas. Not only will this help you save time and paint with more efficiency, it will draw the viewer’s eye toward the centerpiece of the painting.