How to start a new painting

How to start a new painting?

The other day a friend visited me to have a talk and some demonstrations for painting. My friend loves art and wants to give it a try for herself. She has seen a lot and has a taste for art. But she has nearly no experience with using a brush. One of her questions was: How do you start a new panting?
Actually a good question and a difficult answer.

How to jump on a white canvas?

Starting a new painting is always somehow exiting – at least for me. I never know where this journey will lead me to – and seldom I make plans which I then will not follow. In the end my start is always fed by the impulse of the moment. The most I have in mind is a color direction. Maybe there is even a theme deep back in my more unconscious brain.

There are many ways to start. I paint it black – literally. Or I take another color. I use up the colors of my palette to make bold marks. I see something and paint it with black marker onto the canvas – knowing it will take some effort to get rid of it again. But that’s what I do it for. I create a lot of ground layers and challenges that will force me to leave my habits.

Warming up

My head has been occupied lately by a lot of technical stuff. I find it difficult to switch back into the realm of creativity. Today finally I got the hang of it. I jumped over my cautious voice in my head that whispered “better start with a smaller canvas” and took the largest canvas available in my collection here in the studio.

How do you manage to come back to painting after a longer brake?

My helper on the way away from reorganizing my website since weeks back to my colors was this week a teaser course called “Find your joy” (in painting) by Louise Fletcher. She is a wonderful teacher and calls herself a messy painter – something I feel very related to.

The last exercise of this week she offered was a reduction in the use of color and movements but a diversity in using different tools. I did this on paper – nice warming up exercise.

Doing this exercise with the small paintings was a good start into the day. It helped me, not to postpone my the beginning of a new painting to another day. Suddenly this little exercise opened up a new the road to “how to start a new painting on a larger canvas”. So again, a surprise for myself about how I start a painting.

Image starting a new painting
Starting a new painting 5

This is where the canvas is now. I wouldn’t call it a painting. But: this is something as there is something. First steps are done. We will see where it goes from here, everything is possible!


If you want to follow up my steps and jumps in my artist life, you might like to join my newsletter list. Once or twice a month you will find in your mailbox a comprehensive update and overview about my artist journey, new works, about exhibitions I am planning to participate, exhibitions I think, that they are worth a visit and special offers I make time by time to my newsletter readers.

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Want to know more?

You are interested to read more about my starting experiences? About my beginnings with painting? Here in “how to start an abstract painting” you find more detailed answers about my artist journey.

Visit my website to get more information
www.artgoppellandhampel.com

If you want to find your joy in painting, there is an opportunity coming up!

Louise Fletcher starts a new “Find your joy” course end of this month (June 2020). It last 10 weeks and I am pretty sure it is worth the time and the money. If you want to learn more about it, you find the information by clicking “Find your joy”.

A large painting as work in progress