I am new to websites and blogs, and I am excited to have a place to share my artistic process and progress. I often take photos of key stages in the painting process, to help other artists find techniques that are successful. Viewers of art may also be surprised that artists use shortcuts like templates and tracing paper to help them draw their subject.
As with any practice, doing a technique over and over allows one to gain confidence, competence, and predict the outcome reliably. These are the types of tips I like to share, ones that build success.
Creating art in a series, on a theme, also allows mastery of that particular content, and allows building up a body of related work, unified by a theme or common technique. I find that I can be fascinated by a series for about a dozen paintings. This is efficient, because it means you set up your studio with certain materials that you will use for your series. I tend to use the same size canvas for the whole series, although sometimes I will switch between canvas and watercolour paper to see which lends itself best to that technique.
I rarely throw away an unsuccessful painting, preferring to haul it out at intervals to see if I now see how to improve it. Or, at the very least, it can be used as a colorful background for a painting over the existing paint. Some of my best paintings are done this way. It can, at first, seem unnerving or distracting to try to paint over a colorful painting. But vivid underpaintings can create unity in the overpainting, and provide a guide for color choices.