Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Stages of an Expressive & Intuitive Painting

What is Expressive / Intuitive painting some might ask? 
It is a style of painting that relies on you listening to your own intuitive voice. It should guide you along on the the process of making art while painting. In a prefect world is should help you choose colors, shapes and mark marking that will result in a painting that is unique to you.  As an Art teacher I believe knowledge of the Elements of Art:( Line, Shape, Form, Value, Space, Color and Texture,) and the Principles of Design: (Balance, Contrast, Emphasis, Pattern, Rhythm and Movement,and  Unity,)  are essential as well in understand the aesteadics of what makes a good painting.

 I recently took an on-line course on this very topic. It was was fun and very informative. I did however read a comment left by one of the students asking how the teacher knew when to change  the size of a shape or color to  make such a difference in the final appearance in her art work. The answer was that the teacher used her knowledge of the Elements of Art and the Principles of Design. For a bit of fun I thought I would share my experience with creating an Expressive / Intuitive painting.  A piece of cake for me you might might say. Not really, but I thought I would help you by describing my thoughts by explaining how the Elements and Principles planned a part in my decision making as I try to create an expressive & intuitive painting.

  I'm ready to start, got my canvas (24x30), all my brushes, acrylic paint, water, spray bottle  towels... just throw down some paint you say?  Well yes that is the idea but I actual did think about how I would start. I've been working with watercolor for so long I decide to thin out the acrylic paint  so it would feel something like water color, and to limited my colors.  When did I know to stop? The painting became so wet that I had to walk away an let it dry or things would have gotten muddy
Overall it was a good start. The painting showed depth (pale yellow under the dripping lavender, Contrast from light and dark colors and a large shape for Emphasis. These are The Elements and Principles working.

  Day 2:  The goal was Mark Making... and don't ask about the major color change, I have no clue but its pretty blue, and looks awful.But it did have some interesting  lines shapes.

  Day 3: OK lets get some of that green back in the picture and remember to keep some of the mark making.

Day 4: Wow This was a big change. My goal was to warm it up. I've added orange, and its looking better. It still has a lot of energy from the complementary colors and from the variety of lines and shapes. But what am I going to do with that big large orange spot? I'm listening but that little voice isn't telling me what to do.

 Day 5: Well the large orange spot is gone. I tried adding cooler colors to calm down the painting. It still has a lot of energy which I like, but is it done? Good question so maybe rotating the canvas around will help me answer that thought.

Well this looks fun, reminds me of Christmas. But is it finished? 
No something has to be added to the now large blue green space.

So  I'm going to play and just keep working on it and see what happens.
More to come.
~ karen


  1. It's interesting to see your process on this. I recently did something similar as I was trying to show that abstract art was just basically throwing paint randomly at a canvas and I actually learnt that it's really not - I ended up thinking about how I was feeling that particular day and using the colours and mark making to paint my feelings. It was quite a revelation to me as I'd always had a bit of a mental block about abstract art actually meaning anything! It'll be interesting to see how this one progresses or if you decide it is finished.

  2. How fun! I love the way your painting is evolving. It's always interesting to work intuitively and just let things flow. I hope you post your final results :)

  3. Interesting journey. It is fun to see how the painting has changed and can't wait to see where you are going with this. :) Erika

  4. these are quite wonderful! funny how before i went to art school pretty much all my paintings looked like this/followed this methodology!

  5. I love this post so much and the many stages of your canvas...I especially love the first three because I am such a fan of purple and green together! I'm an intuitive artist and find when my pieces are too contrived I'm never as happy with them!! Thanks for sharing your process and gorgeous art!! I look forward to the finished piece!!

    Hugs Giggles

  6. It was fascinating to see the progression of this piece and to read about your creative process. Having a BFA as well, I appreciated your thoughts about the importance of the elements of art. Blessings!

  7. Very good post. Thanks for sharing. I love how it all evolves. Have a great week.



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