I got asked this question and it made me think of the time I was an art student and I kept hearing the term gesso. I had no idea what it was and felt to embarrassed to ask because I felt it was something I should know. Several years later I found out that it was a primer and it is used to prime surfaces for painting. I use it often and wouldn’t be without it now so it seems funny that it was such a mystery to me for so many years. This is why this site is so useful for so many, there are no silly questions!
You may have heard the phrase ‘loosen up’ from an art teacher, I have and I never quite understood how or what they really meant. We all have certain styles in the way we draw, some of us will naturally make bold, large strokes and others will enjoy small accurate strokes perhaps focussing on detail. Is there a need to loosen up and if so how can it be done?
Get Comfortable With Your Style
Now after many years of art classes I got the impression that you had to be ‘gutsy’ with your drawing and painting otherwise it was somehow lesser work. Of course this is not true, there is nothing wrong with a more ‘technical’ style and for those of us who like detail. If you are someone who likes small paintbrushes and detail that is ok but there is some merit in trying out a looser style which you can use when needed.
Looser, more energetic strokes tend to have more movement and can look at bit fresher. Sometimes we can overwork a piece and this is a trap that many beginners fall into because they are less confident with strokes and lines so they tend to go over areas time and time again.