Painting loose – flowers

Recently I’ve been reading quite a few art related websites, books and watched videos in YouTube or patreon. One water color artist that I came by was Jean Haines. I got inspired not just to try new things with water color but to also write about what I picked up from the books and videos.

Main topic for this post is painting loose. Other topics I picked on the way were vibrant colors, edges and negative painting, which I will tackle a bit more in future posts and pieces.

In addition I purchased some digital videos which also inspired practicing more loose painting (

I did few of the video flower studies, although not exactly studying any references but just listening and painting at the same time. Just trying to get loose and experimenting, with no expectations on the outcome, so still no pretty roses 😀

This was a loose I could get, at least in that video session. I continued a bit too far in the last piece so lost quite a bit of the looseness as well as freshness of water colors. But at least comparing to my usual ‘paint every inch of paper’, I managed to keep a lot of the paper white, concentrating on the main point and keeping rest of the paper unfinished. I could have left some more white paper showing in painted areas also.

Whether loose painting is my thing, remains to be seen. Of course, more practice develops painting style and for now a combination of looseness and details is what I’ll aim for.

A few tips on loose painting:

  • Be loose, do not set too high expectations, if any. Relax.
    • At least for me it would be good to try painting with some music to relax and get into the mode. But listening to music does not work for all, can be more of a distraction.
  • Consider the painting as a whole and merge the object with the background (soft and hard edges, lost and found edges)
  • Consider what is relevant, not all needs to be in focus or clearly painted, leave something for the observer to fill in
  • Use the right equipment for the job, e.g.
    • start with big enough brush to cover big areas fast. Move onto smaller as you get to more detailed working
      • do not hold big brush like a pencil, but instead gripping on the handle end can help loosen up the touch as well
    • some prefer flat over round brushes, but at least my flat brush does not hold water too well (and I find it hard to get colors from my tiny pans and wells), so I hope my new big mop brush will loosen things up a bit more
    • also tube colors (vs pans) could likely loosen up things a bit more, to be able to get more stronger pigment on going faster and can start blending colors on canvas
      • do not over brush let the paint work itself
  • Don’t over work, stop in time. A good tip from Jean Haines was, that when the piece gains nothing from additional fiddling, call it done.

I will be also incorporating more of the negative painting in future pieces, as well as pay more attention to the colors, edges and blending. Stay tuned!


3 Comments Add yours

  1. lom says:

    I have tried many times to water colour paint, I just can’t get the hang of it 🙂
    I think you have done really well here


    1. soila says:

      Thanks! I feel the same with other mediums, seems so unfamiliar to use different paints and it is also a bit overwhelming to tackle yet another medium.

      Liked by 1 person

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