Overworking and fiddling

it's the same as wordy sentences - knowing when to stop!!4250742262?profile=RESIZE_710x

I'm not sure why I haven't had this painting problem - I know it's prevalent and most watercolour painters experience it.

Maybe a wrong tutor in the early phases of learning? it seems that many people who start with acrylic have a greater propensity for lots of dabbing - acrylic will take it - watercolour won't. Maybe you've bought a cheaper paint/paper and it won't do what you want so you keep trying to make it happen. Watercolour is quite a mental shift from other mediums.

So why is it a problem? watercolour is for the minimalist, less is more for virually everything to do with painting watercolour - brush strokes, colours, colour mixing, mark making etc etc.

here's some of my methods:

  1. use a brush much too big for your painting - you'll have to stop and think
  2. paint no smaller than an a3, this will give your arm somewhere to go when you are painting lovely juicy flowing brushstrokes.
  3. put small brushes away until you need them for the last 10% of your painting - the detail phase
  4. I prefer to paint in jeans and keep my pesky left hand in my back pocket.
  5. stand up to paint for as long as possible
  6. hold the brush right at the tip or certainly, no closer than half way down the handle
  7. improve your drawing, i think much of the dabbing is to correct a shape, when you can draw the shape you want you will be able to paint it
  8. before you apply your brush, ask yourself how you could paint the shape you want with ONE brushstroke - aha!! that stopped you in your tracks!!
  9. think of painting with a feather - a light and minimalist brush stroke will do the job.

Whenever I decide to include a new technique or stop an old baddy, I really have to focus and give myself a stern talking to before I start - I deal with one problem until I think I've solved it then I move on to the next. plenty of practice with the skill I want - practice, practice, practice!!

I would love to hear how you get on!!


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  • Wow, that's fantastic! I admire your talent, Amanda! I need to learn the freedom and bravery to make something similar! 😊 

  • Great, I'm going to try these on my next painting session. 😁

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