Posts tagged ‘painting’
The tight squeeze between Dent Island and Little Dent Island form these narrows that make up part of Canoe Pass Rapids. At peak tides the water flows through like a river. This view’s emphasis is on the quality of light breaking through the clouds. But even at slack tide the water still flows forming great reflecting patterns. Six hours by slow boat from Campbell River, B.C., this area is remote and spectacular!
I have ambivalent feelings when finishing a painting. In some ways I’m glad to see the back of it, but a lot of my energy blood sweat & tears have gone into it and it’s a part of me. Most often, I never see them again and that makes me just a tiny bit sad. I suppose the consolation is knowing the piece is going to a place where it will be appreciated…maybe even loved.
I don’t know if this happens to other artists, but I (almost) always experience an unpleasant let down in the middle of a painting. Particularly on a piece as big as this one that can take weeks to finish. I’ve come to refer to this awful time as the mid painting doldrums; days of work go by and there seems to be little if any progress (which is why I haven’t posted lately). It’s at this time I also begin to question whether this is such a great idea for a painting after all. Experience has taught me this is just a product of working on the same thing for a long time: it’s easy to lose your perspective and second guess yourself. Experience has also taught me to hang in there and remain true to your vision, things WILL get better. Just around the corner the painting starts to come together and starts looking really sharp, just the way I pictured it in my head. I can hardly wait……
Now comes the time to add colour.
Each picture in this gallery has a caption to explain what going on. Although the painting is coming along this part of the process seems to drag on. Days will go by and it seems that your making no progress – it can get a bit depressing. I call it the mid paining doldrums; you just have to suck it up and work through it.
Now comes the time to start the painting in earnest. My prefered technique is to do a relatively finished under drawing. I call it an under drawing out of habit, but it’s really an under painting. I’m not too fussy about what I use for this – usually I use whatever paint I have left over from the previous painting – as long as I have a dark tone and a light one. In the case of this piece, I’m using black and white gesso.
The object here is to rough in the major elements of the composition, then fine tune them until there’s no more guess work about what goes where. To do this I use a combination of sketches and studies I’ve done and photo reference I’ve taken of the scene.
When I’m done this stage, I have a highly resolved under painting or “cartoon”. And now it’s ready for the next step: adding colour.
For me, choosing what to paint on depends on what size the piece will be. For 36×48 and under I prefer Masonite or hardboard. Masonite has a lot going for it: It’s cheap ($12 – $15 for a 48×96 sheet), readily available, and a stable surface to paint on. Anything larger Masonite becomes too wobbly and unstable, it also gets quite heavy.
Over 36×48, canvas is a better choice; it doesn’t bend, it’s light and looks great for multi-paneled pieces. Pre-stretched canvas can be expensive, so I just buy the canvas and stretch it myself. Cheaper, but a lot of prep required.
For this blog I’m using Masonite.
As promised this next series of blogs will document the creation of a painting from beginning to end. I’ve always been curious how other artists work; whether they go through the same ups and downs I seem to experience on every painting I do. I’m fascinated by the creative process and hope this experiment will give a little insight into mine.
There is always some spark of an idea that germinates and grows in my mind until I have a pretty clear idea of what I want to do. That spark can be something I’ve seen, or dreamed, or remembered, and often the work of another artist will inspire me as well. In the case of this particular piece, it came at the suggestion of a friend to revisit a place I have painted at before. In fact 20 years before! The thought of reinterpreting this location as a much different artist seemed a cool idea.
By the way, if anything I’m describing needs clarification or if you have any questions at all, feel free to leave a comment, and I will do my best to help.
Hello everyone. Yesterday I got my 100th follower! Thank you one and all. This is a milestone that has got me thinking about my blog: it’s humble beginnings, and ideas for the future to make it better.
When my nephew got this blog going for me almost a year ago, I confess I didn’t have a clue what a blog was. Not only that I was at the beginning of a two-shows-in-a-year odyssey that left me little time or energy to spend on learning how to make my blog accessible and interesting. So in the first six to eight months I posted almost nothing, my blog was dormant.
Now I think I get it; a blog is like a virtual journal that gives those interested intimate access to (in my case) the process of making art. Since this epiphany my hits and followers have taken off and now I’m full of ideas and enthusiasm to improve my blog and to start utilizing it properly.
Now that I feel I have the luxury of a bit more time, my next blogging project is going to be the execution of a large (36×48) painting. I’m planning on getting right into the minutia: preparation of materials, concept, studies, actual painting (I’m even tinkering with the idea of some kind of time lapse video), all in more or less real time. I think it will prove to be an interesting experiment…stay tuned.