Paint First, Then Think

Paint First, Then Think
When painting I believe it vitally important to use both right and left hemispheres of my brain as part of the painting process. Each hemisphere has a role to play and I try to keep their activities separate in a process I call "Paint First, Then Think."

When painting intuitively as I do, I must remain loose and paint from my heart rather than my head. Doing this allows my right brain (which houses my emotions, spontaneity, intuition, creativity) to be in charge of my painting activities. I don't want what I am doing during the painting process to be scripted, planned or analyzed. I want to turn my emotions into shape, color and value. Analysis during this part of the painting process only creates fear, control, tightness and tentativeness. Once I have exhausted my spontaneity and feel the painting is near completion I stop. My right brain has done it's job and fulfilled my intention to "Paint First."

Now is time for the analytical part of the process utilizing my left brain (analysis, logic, planning). I leave the painting on the wall, grab my sketchbook and retreat to my "thinking" chair. I take time to really look at what I've done. I analyze the shapes, values, color, edges and center of interest to make sure they are as good as they can be. I make a list of any deficiencies in my sketchbook. I keep the painting in a place in the studio where I can look at it as I pass by for a couple of days to make sure the corrections I have noted are still accurate a couple of days later. I then set about making the corrections to complete the painting. my left brain has fulfilled it's mission to "Then Think."

I have now successfully incorporated the best of both the right and left hemispheres of my brain by using them at the appropriate times during the creative process. The next time you approach a painting project remember to Paint First, Then Think.

We discuss this concept and so much more great information that will make you a better painter at my workshops or join one of my online courses.