|Paul Cezanne - detail from "Apples, Bottle and Chairback"|
What it does not mean is to be speedy and slapdash. To "throw" colour at your canvas, or paper, in the hope of achieving something which looks "loose" and effortless.
Let's consider the opposite of loose. Tight. Well, you cannot get much "tighter" than a painting which looks exactly like a photograph, with every edge crisply defined. Now, before the pro-photographic-finish painters start complaining, I am simply saying that this kind of painting is TIGHT, not "no good". There are other "tight" types of painting and drawing- here is an interesting take on the drawing by Albrecht Durer, made even "tighter" than the original, take a look:
- Ask yourself if you are the kind of painter who likes to concentrate on how many bricks there are in the wall, or tiles on the roof . If you are, then you have not, as yet, recognised that it is not the small details which make the painting work.
- Do you leap into the painting without any preplanning at all, because you are itching to get to the colour and have no patience for thumbnail preplanning? If so, then you will have more than your fair share of problems to sort out, correct, adjust, as you paint, which will destroy any sense of freshness and spontaneity.
- Do you seldom bother to read and learn about the language of colour, thinking that it will all look ok if you can just accurately copy the colour of what is in front of you?
- If you fall into any of these categories, perhaps the time has come to have a bit of a rethink?