Painting is an art form like dance and music. Relative to the desired effect of movement your strokes are the music and your harmony. Sense the emotion created by the bold large movement of a dancer to strong rhythmic beats. Then, as the movements become more intent and the dancer uses just their limbs, we become more aware of the subtleties and nuances of their character . And with our emotions evoked, we take the time to look into the eyes, just in time to see the final focus of passions, as told by the slight tilt of a head, the precise movement of the hands, and the placement of every finger. Your strokes also evoke such emotion from large to small.
Use your colors to enchant your painting as a whole. Make this a dance of brush strokes, only to finish with the movement of tiny details, never to be over done.
Think about how one color relates to another. Think about how you can use the last color in the next color and yet not loose the freshness of the color you are working with.
You really want to move into a blank canvas and claim it for your own. The white of the bare canvas is as blank as the emptiness of an empty room. Your emotions are important to your painting. When you move in, let the feeling of the subject fill your space as you would fill your room with life.
This may sound silly and overly romanticized, but painting is a part of life that uses emotions at their best. Paintings are meant to entertain. We are entertainers. If you don’t evoke some emotion from your viewer, you have missed out on the whole concept of painting. Only the best paintings can really capture emotions of the model, the artist, and the viewer. Use what comes naturally to make your painting far better.
Always make the decision of feeling ahead of time. What do you want to feel from this painting? What does your client want to express with this painting. If you take the time to think this out, your paintings will come alive.
This is a good time to tell you about a wonderful book for artists, The Artist’s Way and The Artist’s Way at work, by a friend of mine, Mark Bryan. (The “Morning pages” are the best tool to tap into your emotions and help you to enhance your work. I highly recommend it.