One of the most appealing things about creating art is that there are essentially no rules to doing so. Art doesn’t have to look a certain way, it doesn’t have to be created a certain way, and it doesn’t have to conform to any arbitrary standards of style or craftsmanship.
An artist could be completely self-taught and use rudimentary techniques and still be capable of creating stunning works of art that captivate audiences.
That said, there are several key techniques that can be used to add depth and complexity to any piece, greatly enhancing its potential appeal according to Discollins, a contemporary artist who loves uses geometric designs as subtle but powerful accompaniments to his work.
Regardless of their own personal style, he says any artist is likely to benefit and make use of the following techniques to enhance their work and make it even more riveting.
Rather than launching right into your next oil masterpiece, it’s a good idea to set the foundation in place by under painting first. This technique typically uses monochromatic colors to lay the foundation for the final work, allowing the artist to map out the scene and envision the best color choices without having to commit to any final touches.
Discollins says that not only can under painting greatly guide and enhance your vision of the final piece, but the colors used during the process can also confer a welcome tone to the finished product. For example, a blue under painting can lend a sense of cold to the final scene, while a purple one is perfect for creating shadows.
On the other hand, leaving some areas of the white canvas untouched during this process can brighten those sections and provide great contrast with other parts of the painting.
The hardest thing to master as a young artist according to Discollins is layering colors and adding further depth and texture to them. One of the best techniques for pulling this off with both oil- and water-based paintings is dry brushing, in which dry sections of the painting are touched up with a lightly coated brush. The brush strokes should be quick and directional, which leaves behind a noticeably scratchy look.
Creating paintings isn’t just about applying paint but also strategically removing it. Sgraffito is one of the best techniques for removing paint, not due to error or a change of mind, but to add additional effects into a scene. This technique is best used in combination with an under painting described above, as the objective is to paint a section and then immediately etch out details in the paint while it’s still wet, exposing that under painting. This technique is a great way to depict tufts of fine material, such as grass or hair.