I'm supposed to be doing homework, but I thought I'd take a few minutes to share what we've been up to. Since I've been in school, I've really needed a way to relax one night a week. Doing landscape paintings has become my outlet (for now, I change artistic directions fairly often). I don't really have any great techniques to share, but I have a few tips:
1. Get a buddy and an honest critic. My sister is my painting buddy. We never paint the same picture (other than our first ones because we did a class together), but we usually pick something in the same genre and size. Having her here pushes me to do better and keeps me accountable to finish my work. My husband is the critic. He tells me what needs to be fixed and what looks good. He's nice about it, but he doesn't hold back.
2. Find a size that works for you. I bought a value pack of 12" x 12" canvas. The size is large enough for me to do a decent painting on, but not so large that it takes more than one sitting to finish. Perhaps one day I'll tackle something bigger. For now, it's nice to focus on technique.
3. Just past the "I hate it!" phase is the "Hey, that's not so bad" phase. If you hate, keep going until you're satisfied with it (same thing goes when writing a novel).
4. Check out sales and wholesalers. I was able to snag some canvas at a really good price from an art store I don't normally go to. And a friend of mine recently introduced me to a discount supply store that had amazing brushes for 25 and 50 cents apiece!
And that's it! Over time, you'll get better and better. In the meantime, you'll relax and have a great time. That's all for now, I really need to get back to writing my paper.