Follow by Email

Thursday, 21 June 2012

Loosening up

I think my natural style of painting is fairly loosish anyway. I'm not a detail painter, I'm a lazy painter!  I like to start and finish a painting in one go and don't really want to take hours and hours over something - I'm impatient to see the finished piece and then I want to start on the next one!  So when I came across the Loose Group which was initially on the Painting Loft it seemed right up my street. 'Loose' for me is a very broad term and there is a quite a range I think of what can be termed as loose. For some it is all about lost edges, drips and splashes, for others it is just a more painterly quality to their work.  I paint in varying degrees of looseness depending on the subject and on my mood.  Loose is not everyone's cup of tea - my daughters don't like this style, nor does my dad!  They like realistic paintings and don't 'get' loose, impressionist styles at all!!  So if I'm painting something for them I have to be more detailed, but I enjoy painting in both styles so it's fine!  The Loose Group is hosted by another very talented artist Judith Farnworth - you can find a link to her blog in the blogs that I follow.  She gives exercises each month and gives brilliant feedback on how to make a piece looser if that's what you want to do.  A large part of the artwork I've done since this group started has been for this group and it has given me invaluable practice, inspiration, support and advice. I am grateful to Judith and all the other member of the group for sharing their knowledge and expertise and for their support.  Another lady who has given a huge amount of support to me and others in the loose group is Laura Moore.  You will also find her blog listed here.  She is passionate about art and hugely knowledgeable and offers excellent advice on how to improve a painting and she's honest too which is what we need if we want to improve.  

This is the first exercise I did for the loose group - a pig which I did very quickly - I've learnt since that quick doesn't necessarily equal loose!

This one was more successful and I still really like the effect I achieved in this painting - I don't say that very often about my paintings and am my own worst critic.  Shame I haven't been able to recreate the same effect since!  Complete fluke!

Bandouille Arch from a photo by Bix on PaintmyPhoto

Here are a selection of other exercises done specifically as an exercise in loosening up.

Bull from a photo by Bix
 You can see I've left more lost edges in Bix's bull, my daughters would say 'Why haven't you finished it?'

Hind from a photo by Gary Jones
 I quite like this deer, I like the soft halo effect and her eyes but again, haven't really been able to recreate this in other paintings!

Rusty Old Truck from a photo by Alena
 This rusty old truck was great fun to do, the photograph showed a background but me being lazy just concentrated on the truck itself - I love paintings of rusty old cars and trucks and intended on doing more but never did - maybe I still will though!

Painting an elephant in Hazel Soan style

I love Hazel Soan's art and have a couple of her books, African Watercolours is a beautiful book I would recommend to anyone 
Loose elephant

 I went a bit mad with this elephant and really went for it, splashing paint and using lots of wet in wet, I'm lucky the colours didn't muddy too much, although they have a bit.  Again I liked the effect I created here but haven't been able to recreate it!

Jazz Player from a black and white photograph
 Working from black and white photographs makes you have to think for the colours for yourself instead of following what you see in the photograph and Judith now gives us a black and white image each month to paint from. This jazz player was the first b&w image we did.  

Swan from a photo by Steve Lyddon (PMP)
 I like parts of this swan painting but got a bit lost on the wing on the right and haven't been able to fix it

Kings Cross Station
 When I attempted this painting of Kings Cross Station I didn't think I had any hope of creating anything work posting but I surprised myself as it didn't turn out too bad!

Spanish Dancer

This is one of a series of dancing figures that I painted last year, trying to focus on capturing the movement in the dance and this one captures that the most I think

The Loose Group can now be found on the Paint My Photo site, there are 3 images to paint each month if you want to take part.


  1. Well done Sharon you are showcasing your work beautifully...... thanks for the mention too!!Think you will enjoy writing your blog, I certainly enjoy writing mine, it's fun and there is always something to write about....

  2. Sharon. I was a bit taken aback that you mentioned me here. Thank you so much. I know you will enjoy blogging world. Just think people are coming just to see you and your wonderful artwork and there is no bigger compliment than that, other than buying a painting itself of course. So I'm glad you have taken the plunge to share it with others. Take care. Laura x


I love hearing from you, thank you so much for leaving a comment - I will always try to leave a reply and pop over to visit your blog if you have one - although sometimes I may be slower than others, have a wonderful day xx