When I picked painting up again (after a break of years and years), I found I had a really bad habit of being SUPER heavy with shadowing and brush strokes. I found it so satisfying to paint heavy outlines and keep layering shadows, that I couldn't really make myself stop... and so the finished painting looked clunky, had no subtlety, and pretty much lost all its light.
But, considering I had been so nervous and awkward about picking up a paintbrush when I restarted, I wasn't going to let this stress me out. I paint because I love it and it really calms me, so rather than trying to teach myself big changes, I've just been taking tiny steps to try and fix my heavy hand.
I found that painting using just one colour has been HUGELY helpful in this! It's such a simplified way to do things, but it has really helped me concentrate on light and shadows, and play with when it's best to leave the paper blank.
I've also been trying to make myself stop before I think I'm actually finished, which is a total test of my willpower.
So, this isn't my normal type of post but it does feel like I'm maybe getting somewhere (and it's been over a year since I last wrote about painting). Now I need to practice on painting people... perhaps it's time to bring my illustrated bloggers back?