Decorative painting is a unique art form that requires unique skills and techniques not found in other disciplines. I have compiled my ten favorite tips into this list to help you bring out your creativity and find your inspiration.
1. A clean and organized painting space allows more time to be creative. Once an idea comes to mind you can run with it. Search out examples of items, vistas, etc. It takes time and patience to put together a cohesive vision. When the idea is drawn onto paper, tracing paper or the surface of choice you are now ready to go!!!!
2. In order to be ready to paint, brushes must be clean and in good condition. Keep the worn brushes for scruffy work. Keep the brushes clean by using a good brush cleaner for acrylic paint. Do not let the dirty brushes soak in the cleaning solution above the ferule (the metal part holding the brush hairs together) as the glue weakens the bristles.
3. It is easier to find the brush needed if the brushes are organized by size and type. Separate the brushes into containers based on good condition, well used and scruffy. Keep your brushes either by brand and size or by type of brush and size. Old, scruffy brushes should be kept as they often are needed to add texture to the surface area.
4. Organization is key to knowing where each supply is located. Palettes, rulers, palette knives, sponges and etc need to have a place where they can be retrieved easily. Mark the drawers or containers with the appropriate labels. Each drawer or container should have ample room to keep the supplies well organized. Always when using the last of a product keep a list of the product so you can replenish the item. Always return any of the supplies back to the drawer or container so the items can be easily located.
5. Organize your paints. Paint racks or drawers will keep the paint bottles or tubes organized by company and or color. When a paint tube or bottle is empty make a list by company and color. Keep the list in visual site on a clip board as this will make it easy to replenish the exact colors of paint needed.
6. When beginning a painting project first work out the project in your mind. List the order of the layers you will be doing. Start from the background forward, then the mid-ground and finally the foreground. It is important to paint all the furthest items and then work forward. Make a checklist of the furthest back elements, then the middle elements and finally the nearest elements.
7. Visit museums, aquariums and parks for inspiring new ideas. A simple walk will often times bring out new ideas and thoughts that have been buried away. Also it is a good idea to sit with a drawing pad and pencils and just go outside and begin to draw nature, people and buildings. This will often times bring on new ideas and visions.
8. Build a library of photographs. Take pictures of trees, clouds, buildings, mountains and much more. Your photographs are a great source for inspiration. Incorporate elements from your pictures and from books into your painting.
9. Look through magazines as they have wonderful ideas and picture’s of natures beauty. Build a reference library that can be referred to quickly. This reference library should be kept in an orderly manner. Each genre of pictures should be kept together. Any notebook will help in keeping the pictures orderly and in clear plastic sleeves.
10. Enjoy painting, enjoy the process… let the creative ideas blossoms. Look around for inspiration from the colors of the trees to the beauty of a child’s face to the simplest piece of fruit. Wherever you go there are new and wondrous ideas. Keep looking and keep being inspired by all the beauty that our world has to give us.