Whenever possible, I try to go into a new painting with a specific objective. Perhaps I want to learn more about a certain technique… test a new color… or experiment with a new style.
I find this to be the best way to broaden my knowledge and experience. It’s not enough to read or watch something. I need to put it into action.
Below are some examples using recent paintings:
Objective: Capture the appearance of mist without the painting appearing bland.
Moody Seascape, The Spit
Objective: Capture the movement of water without going into too much detail.
Maryvale, Sunny Landscape
Objective: Break out of a creative rut by painting a simple landscape. Also, to capture the illusion of detail with color variance and texture.
Wellington Point, High Contrast
Objective: Explore the use of broken color to depict leaves.
Wellington Point, Shimmering Light
Objective: Learn how to paint shimmering light on the water.
Try it with your next painting. Before you pick up a brush, consider a specific objective. What do you want to learn, improve, or explore?
This isn’t to say you should only paint with objectives in mind. It can be refreshing to paint simply for the sake of painting. But do this for too long and your progress might stagnate.