Thinking Fast

After spending so long on the Elora painting, I wanted to change things up and paint something fast and with instinct. Here’s what I ended up with: Fraser Island, Analogous Colors

Dan Scott, Fraser Island, Analogous Colors, 2024
Dan Scott, Fraser Island, Analogous Colors, 2024

I painted this within a day over two sessions. All up, it was about 2.5 hours of painting time. For reference, it’s 18 by 24 inches. 

I find this way of painting much more enjoyable than laboring over a single painting month after month. But as I discussed in my last email, deep work on challenging projects is required from time to time to continue progressing. 

It’s also interesting to observe the different ways of thinking. With this simple landscape painting, I relied on instinct to guide me through. I hardly used any calculated thought; I just let my brush lead the way. If you asked me to explain why I did this or that in the painting, I would probably say… “It just felt right.” 

With the Elora painting, everything was slow and calculated, apart from a few of the background areas. I had to really think about the colors, the relationships, the drawing, and the perspective. The outcome was good but it hurt. I was mentally exhausted by the end. 

Ideally, I’ll be able to paint even complex subjects rapidly, guided only by instinct and experience, but I have a while to go before that. 

There’s a good book on this topic: Thinking, Fast and Slow. I read it a few years ago and I found it to be quite fascinating, though dry at times. 

If you want more tips and insights, you might be interested in our 30-Day Creativity Kickstart. We have rolled back the price for the next week.

Happy painting!

Dan Scott

Draw Paint Academy

PS. I’m also putting together a video on the Fraser Island, Analogous Colors painting. This should be published in the next few days. Thanks!


Dan Scott is the founder of Draw Paint Academy. He's a self-taught artist from Australia with a particular interest in landscape painting. Draw Paint Academy is run by Dan and his wife, Chontele, with the aim of helping you get the most out of the art life. You can read more on the About page.