Tonight I want to teach you a Victorian painters phrase," licking", which is a habit that beginning painters need to break. I see students licking their paintings frequently and I always call them on it. It is one of the mortal enemies of brushwork. Here's what it is.
Licking is the opposite of putting a brushstroke on the canvas and leaving it alone. Instead the painter repeatedly smooths out and worries the brushstroke after it is made. Its a bad habit and if you have it you need to break it. The more you fool with a brushstroke, the more it becomes degraded. Crisp clean strokes are had by hitting the stroke once and moving on. Try not to touch a stroke after you make it. You cannot "worry" a passage into being. You need to place your stroke and pull the brush away, and move on to the next one.
Licking is a form of indecision, and it is simply a habit, and a common one in new painters. The cure is to "execute" your brushstrokes. Try to learn to be precise and remember that an imperfect brushstroke is still usually better than one that has been gone over twice.
I think over the next few days I will talk about ways to improve your brushwork. See you all tomorrow.