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How to Stop Fussing While Painting

by | Feb 22, 2022 | Art Lessons | 0 comments

One of the biggest struggles I see for newer painters is how to stop fussing with your paint. 

After a lifetime of using pens and pencils to write and draw, the paint brush can feel like a similar tool in our hands. Yet, it is very different. We need to continuously reload our brushes with more paint, and then get out of Dodge! Once we have accomplished what we are trying to do, we need to stop painting in that spot. If you aren’t done, going over the same spot over and over won’t get you the results. 


My go-to tip is 1-2-3. If you find yourself with thin paint on your brush, try not allowing yourself more than three strokes before you get more paint on your brush. If you find yourself bent over your painting, being “fussy” stop as soon as you realize it.  Adding more paint to your brush keeps the painting looking fresh, and pulls you out of the fussing habit.

Stopping the Fuss

Fussy strokes are when someone is painting over and over again in the same spot. Nothing much is changing, other than to make it look fussed with, instead of bold and confident. 

To stop fussing try the following:

  1. Can you reposition your canvas and brush? Think about your body position. Do you need to change things up?
  2. Try the 1-2-3 trick mentioned above. Literally say it outloud when you need to. It kind feels like waltzing. 1-2-3-dip, 1-2-3-dip. 
  3. Switch out to a bigger brush. Or, a bigger canvas. 
  4. Put on music that gets you excited. What is your anthem like Rocky’s Eye of the Tiger? It sounds silly, but sometimes we just need to break out a bit. 

Do you have any tips you have found helpful? Leave them in the comments below!

Detail of one of my painting, the paint was applied thick and quick