Now that you ‘ve read last week’s blog and know what a good shape looks like, how do you paint it? Can the way you paint it help to improve your painting skills? You betcha! This is a taste of the “LOOSEN UP” series that will be coming your way after the first of the year. And here we go…

We’re Gonna Pick Right Up from Last Week’s Blog Post

Any way you slice it, when you use static shapes in a painting, you tend to tighten right up when you paint them. Picture it. You stroke very carefully in order to stay within those straight lines. Can you see yourself doing that? I can, and still do!


Here is another shape, combined from the other two. While it’s not the best shape in the world, it is still much better than either of the others alone. I’ve painted it in a bit looser manner, just letting the color slap onto the paper. Yes, it’s a bit messy, but you won’t notice once it becomes part of a painting. Of course there are times when this style won’t work, but most of the time it does as you will see in our next example. And it’s more fun!



Applying This to Subject Matter

I read your mind. Yes, we need to now apply this to painting an actual subject. It’s not scary—this is where the fun starts, because you begin to realize that everything you do does not have to be perfect! You can r-e-l-a-x and enjoy painting again. This is the honest truth. If you paint with interesting brush strokes, great color and the ‘feel’ of the object, you don’t need all of the detail. How about that? You don’t believe it, do you? But which of the paintings below do you prefer?


THERE IS SO MUCH MORE TO LEARN ABOUT SHAPES. They are such an important part of painting and batik has taught me a lot about them. I will share more about shapes with you in the future. In the meantime, always feel free to write me with any questions you have. I’m happy to answer.

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