8 April 2013

Making a painting...start to finish!!

People often ask me how long does a painting take??.......one of the trickiest questions to answer!! Some take longer than others and often the best pieces of work come quickly and easily. So I thought I would take you all through the process that I work through to create a painting.

Step 1. The idea. This is a light bulb moment that pops into your head, my head is filled with them. Anything can spark one off, a walk on the beach, the colours of the sky, the shape of the landscape........most will stay in my head but one or two will make it onto paper. This particular painting was a commission so it is a collaboration between myself and my clients ideas. 

Step 2. The sketch. Getting those ideas out of you head and onto paper. Doodle and draw, go to the view that has inspired you and sketch it out.  I like to figure out a composition at this stage. Often I am selective and make more of the most exciting elements within a scene and leave out what is not so pleasing to the eye. I always take photos too to remind me of the detail, technology is there so why not use it!

Step 3. Preparing the canvas. I like to work on a textured surface so I paste crinkled tissue paper to my board or canvas, let it dry then roughly gesso over it. I then paint my base colour. In this case blue. This will be the colour that will show through and create my lines.

Step 4. Redrawing onto canvas. Using a white pastel pencil I draw up my sketch onto the canvas.

Step 5. Get painting :-) Usually I start by blocking in larger areas and then work towards the finer details. Finishing off with white as my final colour.

Step 6. Knowing when to stop! Often when I think I have finished I will hang the painting on my wall at home and often I see a few additions that need to be made before I call it finished.

Step 7. Scan or photograph,  varnish the painting then head to the picture framers.

Ta da! All finished. This painting was a commission and will be hung in a private cottage in Craster.