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Newbie Blues

Reading this thread and others on this board can be energizing and depressing in equal measure. I started my first painting (DMP), and had what I felt were two decent sessions. Completed one object and moved on to the second. Here I inexplicably abandoned the method completely for a couple of hours. I painted light areas right along with dark and got values utterly wrong. I stepped away in time, realizing that my color groups were utterly wrong. Now I need to regroup, breathe, and go back to the start on the second object. This is harder than I expected! 


  • edited December 2017
    Freeman your statement is very true. And I do the same things you mentioned. As you continue to paint you will build more confidence. You will also learn to take what you need from the suggestions and leave the rest behind.... never forget DMP is just a learning method, to learn it takes awhile... there are just a few that seem to start out the gate already masters but the rest of us are either still learning (myself) or been at it for a long time. 

    We have all had our failures, we even made a thread about it lol the gallery of failures. 
    Keep it simple when it comes to advice as well... you get a lot of that here but when I get confused as whose advice to take I either go back to one of marks videos or look up what he said about it, usually that clears it up for me.

    keep going don’t get to discouraged you will get there and we want everyone to succeed and feel good about their work here.

  • Freeman

    Sounds natural to me. It is only human to explore, test, shrink and expand on the method.
    In this way you can decide to stick to the script or do something different.
    If your second object had turned out better than the first you may now be looking up the phone number for Sotheby’s or Christie’s.

    Learn the method with half a dozen works and then go explore the maze of techniques and styles.
    But remember to have fun along the way.


  • Keep in there I was the same in fact look at my thread wine and cheese to see how close I was to throwing it all in @Freeman
  • @Freeman you're lucky to have noticed the mistake before getting too far. (I didn't) it seems the best course of action for a number of newbie blues is to just slow down and step back for a look often.
  • Bob you are so right. I am also regretting, as some of you predicted I would, the complexity of my first piece. Thanks for the pep talk, off to rebalance my light, remix my paint and have another go!
  • I was painting for the past few hours and realized I just painted mud. I feel your pain. 
  • Don't despair! I see a lot of good in this painting so far. In particular the distant mountains are excellent. The rest is on its way, I think. 
  • Just go back to the method. Scrape down first if necessary. The distant mountains read well and the overall arrangement of the elements in the landscape is ok. I'd persevere with it.
  • Thank for the advice guys. I did this from imagination and I think I should use a reference photo instead until I have a hang of mixing colors better. I am super new to painting. 
  • I cleaned my palette, squared away my lighting issue, remixed all of my colors and had another go. Much better progress, although slow and very ugly. But progress nonetheless. 
  • That's awesome to hear! I rewatched Mark's mixing oil paints video and I will revisit my palette too.
  • I have found myself painting almost exclusively with one brush. It is smaller than the rest of the brushes, and I find I want to use this one pretty much all the time. I just wipe the brush after each color change. I either need to buy some smaller brushes or learn to use the bigger ones too.
  • I don't see the problem in doing that if you are painting colors from the same group. 
  • I either need to buy some smaller brushes or learn to use the bigger ones too.
    You do whatever you want.  I find that learning how just one brush behaves makes every other brush feel clunky and difficult to use, after all, when all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.  But knowing how to use a second brush makes you realize they all have advantages and disadvantages.  I'm now up to three brushes in continuous use.

    When you start to notice that your blacks aren't quite black enough, your whites aren't quite white enough, and you spend all your time cleaning brushes, you'll know it's time to use more.
  • Wiping the same brush over and over is OK but to make sure your colors don't get muddy, after wiping the old color off, dip in the new color and wipe clean again then pickup some more new color. you could also get more of the same style/size brush and organize them in a way you won't have to dip and wipe so much. Mark has a fairly new video on that organizing brushes. about 3:50 he talks about dipping.

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