Ep 110 Featured Image Podcast

Making a Painting: Part 1 – Nicholas Wilton – Ep 110

November 29, 2023


After putting it off for a few years, I am finally starting the painting I promised my daughter and giving it to her for her 30th birthday. So I thought it would be fun to take you on the journey with me! Join me as we dive into a real-world example of how you start a painting and keep it your own when it’s meant for someone else.

Listen if you are interested in…

  • Starting a painting, acrylic techniques, and staying loose [2:48]
  • Keeping your art from becoming a beautiful distraction before it’s finished [14:06]

Thoughts on starting your work

One of the ways I approach a new painting is by starting with tension. I love to begin in the opposite way of how I want the painting to feel. If I ultimately want the painting to be light and airy, I’ll start with dark colors to introduce contrast from the start. Those differences are really what draw people to the work and create an engaging composition. If things start feeling too similar, I get aggressive in introducing contrast, knowing I can always come back and edit later. But the key is to start!

A great way to ensure the work stays your own is through a lack of planning. That may sound contradictory, but the truth is more of ourselves ends up on the canvas when we react to it versus pre-plan every brushstroke. That’s where imperfection becomes a catalyst for creativity. All of the initial marks I make are general ones. I want to stay as open as I can without going into any single part of the picture. Distance is the key to perspective when you first begin a piece. Listen to this episode for more artistic insight and check out the video on our YouTube Channel!

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Nicholas Wilton

Hi! I’m
Nicholas Wilton
the founder of Art2Life.

With over 20 years experience as a working artist and educator, I’ve developed a systematic approach that brings authenticity, spontaneity and joy back into the creative process.

Join me and artists from all over the world in our Free Art2Life Artists Facebook Group or learn more here about Art2Life.

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