Practice new mediums for big changes and find easily your painting style. Sometimes it’s about changing the way you think to open new possibilities.
If you prefer to watch a video instead of reading?
Are you struggling to find your art style? Trying to achieve what you have in mind, but can’t succeed? And maybe you wanted to give up?
Maybe if you’re stuck in your art practice right now, that you feel you’re not improving, it’s time to change the type of medium you’re using. Maybe you’re not using the right medium for you?
We all have a different way of seeing the world, and when it comes to art it’s the same thing. Some are into details, they like to analyze before acting, thinking about how to do things. They’ll think first and paint after. Does it sound familiar?
Some have a more global vision, they tend to follow their intuition and go for it, even if it needs to be fixed later. They’ll paint first and think after. Is it you, maybe? No one is better than the other, it’s just the way your brain is wired.
Now let’s see the mediums for the different brains.
Opaque mediums: gouache, oil, pastels, Posca pens, acrylic…
Even if every opaque medium can be transparent if you dilute it, let’s talk about the opaque version of it. You can work from dark to light, as the white is opaque, or the other way around, if you prefer. Good for you if you have a global vision of things, if you like to follow your intuition.
Opaque mediums are good for you because you can just paint first, and fix the mistakes later with opaque colors on top. Although, there is a limit to the number of layers you can apply.
Transparent mediums: watercolor, alcohol markers, colored pencils
You have to keep the white of the paper untouched for a perfect white, and build layers from light to dark. Drawing gum is an option for very small highlights. Or adding an opaque white pen for the eyes, for example
Good for you if are able to think ahead and plan where to paint, if your brain likes details.
Depending on the type of brushes you’re using, it can be opaque or transparent. And you can even change the layer settings to ‘multiply’ and get transparent layers of opaque brushes! Can be tricky to confuse your brain. But once you master it, the possibilities are endless.
Different mediums to change your style
Now that you know this, think about your art practice. Are you using the right medium for you?
Once you master different mediums, you can play with your painting style. Depending on your mood, the reference image, you’ll pick an opaque or a transparent medium. It’s interesting to see how the same reference image can get different results when you change your medium.
There is no good or bad medium, just the medium that fits you. I would say that fits the way your brain sees the world. Of course, mastering a technique is another story. You can be analytic and master gouache, or be intuitive and master watercolor.
I’m just saying that if you’re in trouble right now, maybe it’s because you’re not using the medium your brain prefers. Of course, changing a medium requires that you master it before being able to say if it suits you or not. (But this is why I make online classes, so you can learn new mediums!)
But then, you’ll find the medium that is the best for you, being digital or traditional.
You may want to look at ease of use, portability, price, color range, style… but most of all: do you like this medium? Are you having fun with it? In my opinion it’s the only reason to choose a medium for painting, because you can still go against your brain preferences (but it will take you more energy to do it).