The Number One Job of ANY Painter

Do you know what your number one job as a painter is? No matter if you're painting digitally or with oils, acrylics, or whatever...

Your number one, can't miss it, gotta' get it right priority?

S.I.M.P.L.I.F.Y.

If you find yourself constantly obsessed with the details -- STOP.

The majority of the old masters didn't obsess over details.  They gave ENOUGH detail to make sure the viewer knew what they were looking at. But the EXTREME detail that is common today was by in large, unheard of.

So how much detail is enough?

One place I like to give as an example is fabric.  Take this photograph for instance...

When I tell novice painters to simplify the details, a lot of times I'll get something along these lines...

There may be some cases where this works nicely, but most of the time, there needs to be a bit more detail without being overly photorealistic.

Here's an example of "just right"...

See the difference?

If we put them side by side, it's easy to see which is the most pleasing for the viewer...

 

Please also notice the "just right" version isn't a 100% literal interpretation of the original photograph.  The term "artistic license" comes into play here and that's ok!

So the next time you paint, try to simplify rather than creating more detail.  You'll be surprised how much more painterly your images become!

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