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How To Paint More Freely & Stay Loose

BE STRONG WITH WONDER. 11 x 14″ on canvas (SOLD).
This painting is one of the projects in my Whimsical Animals – A Mini Course.


One of the hardest things to do is to let go and stay loose when painting. It’s so easy to try too hard and end up with a character that just looks like it is pasted into a landscape.

When I want my paintings to look more loose and organic, there are 2 things I change – the way I’m creating my background and the way I’m incorporating my character.

When I want to get my background to look more luscious and organic, I also remember to use at least 4 different supplies to create layers (I love using papers, especially patterned papers or tissue papers, acrylic paints, inks & water soluble oil pastels).

To stay loose and unintentional as I’m creating my background, I make sure I’m having fun. It helps to fingerpaint, create with my eyes closed, color with my non dominant hand, or paint with spray paints or spray inks and stencils (an easy way to get instant lucious-ness).

I always make sure I’m using my favorite colors too.


The next step is to add a character.

When adding my character, I don’t color it in completely. I always remember to leave my favorite parts of my background. Then those parts of my background become my character (which makes it look more loose).

To make it all fit together, I extend those favorite parts of my background so they stand out and look intentional.

Here is a good video to look at for creating a background that’s like a landscape, but loose, and easier to incorporate a character on top without it looking like a girl or animal in a typical landscape:


This background is part of The May Project in my Serendipity – A Year In Mixed Media online class, a workshop designed to help you find your own voice.

Serendipity 1 & 2 are great classes to take if you’re looking to be more free and relaxed in your style. And they give you plenty of places to begin so you can develop your own unique style.

I loved the background in this video so much, that it inspired this bear and lion painting, one of the projects in my newest online course Whimsical Animals – A Mini Course, a mini workshop designed to help you overcome creative blocks and easily love what you create. By the end of class, you’ll have nine gorgeous paintings and the painting template to get you started again and again, so you can keep creating in a style that is unique to YOU.

Sometimes, if I love a background, I just can’t let it go. And keeping things easy, always inspires new characters and beautiful mistakes.

Have a wonderful weekend! Happy painting!

Juliette Crane

Ps. If you’d like to paint more together, watch more video sneak peeks for all of my online classes here.

Whimsical Animals – A Mini Course has just started! It’s been incredible to see what everyone is creating already and I just adore our supportive community (we have over 1000 super positive & creative members!). You can join us in this online workshop here.

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