From my windowPosted: February 6, 2017
It’s hard to give up my trusty pencil, but when I do, it’s a liberating exercise to paint without drawing first. I am in awe of painters who are skilled at this — Marc Taro Holmes is the first one who comes to mind — but I am often reluctant to just go for it. I have attempted the technique on several occasions, to disastrous results. Maybe it’s my own impatience.
It’s a different kind of painting experience because you have to be more thoughtful about where the brushstrokes go, especially when you use a big flat brush to start, like I do. But when you are not painting between the pencil lines, stuff can happen.
I tend to think the painting process through before I wet my brush — what goes on the paper first, what areas will be treated with glazes, where the darks will be, etc. If you can relinquish control and plunge right in with your brush, you may find that the happy mix of water and paint on the paper will surprise you by combining in unexpected ways. And you will definitely love the experience of brushing pigment across a perfectly white sheet of paper. Go ahead and give it a try. You might be surprised too.