The Fundamentals of Infinity Painting
Take note of the negative space in the photograph of a pine tree that accompanies this article. Paint isn’t used to fill in the gaps between the leaves! Beginners make the mistake of trying to fill the entire room. In art classes, I’ve also had to grab students’ hands and paint brushes to keep them from fully overflowing the canvas. People still laugh when they see this, and then they have the ahau moment when they realise their tree looks more lifelike as a result of it. Infinity Painting is an excellent resource for this.
This is a technique that many acrylic paintings use. It entails putting the tiniest amount of paint on a dry brush and literally brushing it onto the painting in very light strokes. Since dry brushing is used to simulate mist and sun rays (both of which can be seen through), it must be done with extreme caution.
Dry-brushing may also be used to give items a weathered or aged appearance. It’s fine to practise these methods on paper before moving on to a canvas for your first lesson. If you’ve mastered the technique, you can use it to create sun rays, mist, or fog. Dry-brushing is a great way to add drama to a painting that is otherwise flat.
Wipe the brush clean, apply some lighter paint, and dab or dry-brush touches of lighter colour where the sun will be hitting things like trees, leaves, wood, or grass. There are many colours in all. Light constantly reflects and alters the appearance of objects. Be sure to use a variety of colours in your work. As you progress, the highlight colours normally become brighter.
Shadows, like highlight shades, are still present in a painting. Apply touches of dark colour to areas like under roof eaves and around unlit edges of objects to create shadows. The colour you’re using is actually a darker version of the primary colour. Cast shadows often bring a lot of drama and impact to a painting.