THE ENERGY OF A BRUSH STROKE
The amazing energy of unamended brush strokes was certainly a hallmark of the early impressionists. Today many artists use them to convey energy and interest in their paintings. The visible brush stroke speaks of intent and confidence. In other words the strokes are deliberate and bold. Painting in this way is not every artist’s thing, but trying it every so often will help our confidence and work. It means that you will paint with larger brushes than you normally would, especially the flat variety and at the end you can embellish for a little while with a small brush if you feel you need to.
The broad brush method of painting helps in a few directions.
It will force you to simplify
Detail will become implied only - the best detail possible. It is amazing how striking things look when produced with fewer strokes rather than being fiddled with endlessly.
It will stop you from striving for perfection
Striving for perfection is the ruination of art and the hopeless striving for it can make us give up. A painting’s worth more for its feeling than its perfect likeness.
It will make you appreciate the 'accidental' effect
You will fall in love with some strokes that you thought you didn't mean. The more you paint broad the 'luckier' you will get and in the end you realise it is not luck at all - just confidence.
Your paintings will take on a new life
There is no denying that brushy work has built-in energy with each mark and stroke looking lively and immediate. It almost turns a painting into a movie.
You will finish your paintings quicker and they will have more interest
This is a real bonus, particularly if you are painting outdoors. The very simplest of paintings done with large brush strokes can have more in them than works done over days. The eye is more attracted to the obscure and to dramatic brush strokes than to photographic detail.
It will allow you to finish without needing it to be perfect
Striving for perfection is the bane of many an artist and we have all felt it in one form or another. With a bolder brush, perfection is taken out of the equation. The purpose of untouched brushstrokes is to give life - not to have it sapped away through the attrition of process and detail.
Why not give the bold brush a try and spark up your interest and enjoyment at the easel.
Clare 1920s - came as a bit of a surprise. The surface I had prepared for this oil painting was slippery and had a red/brown underpainting. The brush flowed and I left many parts alone after the first.