Wherever you are as a painter on the realism-o-meter, you are either pushing for more control or less. It has a lot to do with a lot of things…. if you are in the learning phase you are usually pushing for a more sure handed approach to paint. If you are more advanced you might be seeking to lose a bit of that realism, trading it in for a little more abstraction or paint action to suggest a thing, rather than render it. I do see a lot of people who want to loosen up in my workshops and to be honest it’s not hard to do. Get bigger brushes, hold the brush at the end and not the tip or tie the brush to a long brush holder. Seriously. You should try it.
Another way is to try a different medium. This is gouache on clay board. I love this medium for it’s surface and for the fact that you can rewet and rework it once it’s dry, it’s an opaque water color. But the other quality it has is its unpredictability, it’s rife with what the watercolorists call the “happy accidents”. Some colors dry darker, most dry lighter, when you work into a pool of color you just never know what you are going to get. That’s why I like it. This piece is a little study for a commission. I thought I’d do it in a medium that left more to the imagination and had more chance of chance happenings. It’s sorta has nice color harmony throughout but what I really like are the little areas where the paint had other ideas and came up with better solutions.