Painting? Here Is How I Got Better

Thin paint sticks to thick paint. Similar terminology you may read is “Fat over lean”. Same idea: Fat paint (that has a lot of stuff in it) with stick to lean paint (that is straight from the tube). I think if you read a book or watch Bob Ross you will learn this pretty quickly, but it is worth mentioning. Do your best to seriously make sure your brushes are dry before you go back to your pallet. It doesn’t take much paint thinner to make a painting unworkable. If you mess up, you can literally just scrape off the part you don’t like, then try again. Be careful, you might need to reapply that super thin coat of liquid white. Sometimes it’s easier to scrub a canvas and start over than to fix a cloud. Check out the episode “Happy Little Accidents” for more discussion about fixing a painting that isn’t coming out. If a painting is dry, you can still put color on top of it. Wet-on-dry is definitely a thing. This has the added benefit of allowing you to gently remove new layers of wet paint without doing (much) damage to the under-layers. Avoid trying to “touch up” a painting that is mostly, but not completely, dry. It can be a huge pain in the ass. Just have fun. Don’t throw away your first painting, no matter how much you may think it sucks.

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