Gerry Dudgeon wrote an excellent article for Artists & Illustrators magazine titled 9 tips for Unlocking Creativity. They included; What about composition? Should you draw the imagery onto the canvass first or work totally intuitively and allow the activity of painting to dictate the arrangement of forms as it progresses? This is a tricky question and ultimately it’s up to individual preference. I used to work from drawings and carefully map out forms onto canvas first, but the final image would never match up to my initial intention. Now I start with a lot of marks and let the paint decide how the work should progress, but it doesn’t suit everyone.
Whether your work is representational or abstract, give yourself time to enjoy the touch, feel and smell of the paint without trying to resolve it prematurely. In oil and acrylic painting, passages that aren’t working well can always be turned into positives. In the early stages of a painting’s development it’s important to keep things loose and free, so using large decorators brushes (as well as artists brushes) is a good idea. Remember not to tighten things up too early by controlling the forms with small precise brushstrokes. Acrylic paint especially can start to lose its freshness and appear dull if it’s overworked. Don’t cover up all of your underpainting either – all it to feature at all stages of the process. More information about Gerry Dudgeon.