I got quite a bit emails or comments about my painting. Many of them are asking me about how to paint things loosely, or compliment on my "loose style". However, I believe I should clarify that the looseness of a painting is more of artist's choice rather than a style. It's a display of an artist's understanding of the form rather than a skill.
In order the paint things loosely, you need to understand the visual language of painting. When you are able to analyze the form which you are painting, and able to treat them as a a visual language, you will be able to paint things loosely.
A loose painting is just trying to communicate visually with suggestions rather than trying to describe everything in precise detail.
It's really not that hard to understand if you can think of it as a real vocal communication. Compare the following two sentences and you'll see what I meant:
Today is July 20th and the temperature is 80°f, so it is very hot in the summer season.
Today is a hot summer day.
I'm sure you find the 2nd sentence shorter, straight to the point and more clear. Same thing applies for the painting. If you are able to paint things with minimum amount of brush stroke and information, you end up with a loose but believable painting.
This is part of my Hollywood Blvd painting. You can see the distance cards and buildings are very loosely painted. (More loose as it goes into the distance.) The car is made with a few simple brush strokes of body, windshield, and wheels. The buildings behind the trees are very simple light and dark shapes. But you read them as buildings receiving the shadows of the trees. And the palm trees themselves are very simple brush strokes that's just mimicking the shape of the leafs.
Now let's look at this part of the painting in San Diego Seaside. You can see the distance boats are simply painted less than 3 brush strokes with the body of the boat, the long, tall mast. If you look carefully you will see some masts are not even connect to a boat, they are just painted shapes. But they help to define the quantity of the boats.
While most of the time I paint the background more loosely. The focus of the paintings are still very loose compares to a photo realistic painting. They are just more define with some extra touches of informations.
Like I said before, always ask yourself if what you painted is enough to communicate to the viewer, or is it too much. Try to get to a point that's "just right" and your painting will end up nice and loose, and more importantly, alive.