Embracing your painting mistakes, can have profound benefits. As artists, we often strive to create “good” paintings, but this kind of mindset hinders our growth and development. Therefore it’s important to remember that the creative process is just as valuable as the end result.
This article is your guide to embracing the ‘mistakes’ in your work, and discovering the freedom in painting that lies within these unexpected moments.
Freedom from painting mistakes
One reason why we often approach a painting very carefully and neatly is because we are afraid of making mistakes. We so badly want our painting to turn out well and look beautiful. However, this is one of the biggest hindrances in our forward progress as painters.
There is great freedom in embracing the painting mistakes your painting and not being afraid to have to make multiple starts. It is important to allow yourself to be messy in your painting and be willing to make mistakes in the process. Mistakes are inevitable in any creative process, and painting is no exception.
Growth never happens without mistakes
To grow as an artist, it’s important to approach mistakes not as failures, but as opportunities for learning and experimentation. It sounds cliché, but it couldn’t be more true. When you allow yourself to make painting mistakes, you open yourself up to new techniques, styles, and mediums that you might not have discovered otherwise. You’ll find yourself more willing to take risks and explore new ideas in your artwork.
Prioritize the process
It’s easy to get caught up in the end result of your painting. However, the process is far more important than the end result. By prioritizing the painting process over the final product, you will end up achieving paintings with greater results. The path to creating profound and beautiful work is to push yourself to grow and develop. This path requires you to get messy with your painting and be willing to make mistakes.
Growth comes from the process
You will naturally find yourself growing and developing your skills and work when you focus on the process.
When you are mentally active and involved “in the trenches” you are much more aware of what you are doing. Every decision you make isn’t done out of fear of failing, but rather out of a sense of curiosity and desire to discover something new. This shows through in your work in the end.
Ironically, a lack of concern with the end result actually ends up creating the best work. The key is to becoming deeply involved in the process.
Let go of trying to control (your painting mistakes)
One of the hardest things for a painter to do is to let go of control. Instead of worrying about each brushstroke being perfect. However, by embracing the process and letting go of control, you free yourself up to create something truly special.
It is a real struggle to let go of wanting your painting to turn out perfectly. However, as a painter you need to be willing to make dozens, if not hundreds of paintings. Doing so will allow you to achieve greater degrees of learning that will have lasting impacts on your painting. So, avoid treating each painting as a potential flawless masterpiece. Instead, embrace them as opportunities to learn and discover something new.
You might find yourself trying new brushes, techniques, and ways of painting that you wouldn’t have considered before. By letting go of control and embracing the messiness of painting, you can find a newfound sense of freedom and creativity in your work.
Make lots of starts
The best way to embrace painting mistakes and messiness in your work is to make lots of starts. This is one of the most rapid ways to grow. When you focus purely on the start of a painting you immerse yourself into the process over the product of the end result.
How to make lots of starts
Have plenty of linen canvas available to you to paint on so you have a ready supply. Make an adequate size painting surface available for yourself – such as a 9 x 12 or 12 x 16 in. Make a sketch of your subject matter and then begin your painting with the first three spots of color. Continue with your painting by working thoughtfully but rapidly at the same time. Only work on your painting for about 2 – 3 hours.
Limits create freedom
When you know that you will not be working on a painting for more than 3 hours, this releases a certain attachment to your painting. Instead you gain freedom to paint messy and make mistakes – allowing you to grow and learn more with each and every premier coup/ alla prima painting you do.
Success requires failure
In conclusion, to be a successful painter, it’s important to ‘paint messy.’ When you embrace your painting mistakes, prioritize the process, let go of control, and understand that the process is just as important as the outcome. you open yourself up to a world of new creative possibilities.
Not only will your painting mistakes help you grow and develop as an artist but they’ll lead to more beautiful and unique works of art that truly capture your creative spirit. So let go of control, embrace the messiness of painting, and watch as your artwork flourishes.