Artworx Gallery | Contemporary Art & Gifts | Goolwa SA

Artworx Gallery - currently celebrating its 10th anniversary - is a regular award winner and the finest contemporary art gallery on South Australia's Fleurieu Peninsula.


10 Serious Painting Tips

Paint often
No matter how many classes you attend, if you don’t paint often at home there will be limited improvement. Painting is like any skill…. it gets better with practice.

Paint small
If you are interested in improving ….10 small works taking 2-hours each is more beneficial than a single 20-hour painting.

Draw with a brush
With oil and acrylics, drawing with a brush will loosen up your painting and have you feeling like an artist. Trying to follow pencil lines can stunt the flow of your work because it can become all about the lines which rapidly disappear under the paint.

Measure the horizon

With seascapes it’s always best to measure the horizon line to ensure it’s straight. Once someone sees a slanted horizon, it becomes all they notice about the painting! One of the few times a ruler comes into its own!

Less colour - More focus
Paint manufacturers would love you to buy all 100 colours in their range. 

But colour-laden paintings tend to have less focus because the eye darts around looking for a place to rest. Try limiting your palette…. and watch your work increase in harmony and interest.

Say no to slavery!
Being a slave to photographs can become a trap even for the experienced.  Use photos for reference but don’t limit you painting to what is there or what is not there. Be in charge of the painting and feel free to move things around and even change the colours.

Use the best you can afford
As with all kinds of paint, the cheaper brands really are inferior particularly in pigment concentration. Having said that, the secret to better paintings doesn’t lie in the materials or equipment. No particular brush or pencil or paint and no particular surface are going to make you a better painter - just lots of practice.

Paint outdoors
Painting plein air will be one of the greatest leaps in your painting journey.

You have to work quickly because the light changes. This will increase your confidence. It’ll also stop you from fiddling. It will teach you that tone is more important than colour and it’ll have you looking for shapes instead of painful detail. It's great fun too!

Atmospheric perspective
Learn this and you will stand out from the rest. It’s the ability to depict distance and the feeling of space through tone and colour - but mainly tone.  See how other artists have achieved this, particularly the Australian impressionists such as Streeton.

Enter art shows

Entering art shows will make you look at your own work in a different light.  In isolation and among family and friends we can have a greater opinion of our own work than is realistic. Exhibiting gets you connected to other artists and collectors and you just might sell or get a prize.  Being in art shows lets you be your own best critic.

Mike Barr

Home Town Rain.  Acrylic on canvas.

Home Town Rain.

Acrylic on canvas.


Liz and John Francis

12 Hays Street
Goolwa, South Australia

Phone: (08) 8555 0949


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