So, my biggest promise to myself for 2012 was that I will dedicate more time to my painting. Many things got in the way last year and I only really finished 3 paintings and a selection of pencil drawings, although I kept to my daily sketches for a few months. Last week I finished my first painting of the year and after looking at my images of the process I thought I would share it with you! Please bear in mind that many of these were taken very late at night before changes were made the next day so I apologise for the blurriness and darkness of some of the photos – also there are quite a few of them so I will write this over a few blog posts.
The starting point were the two sketches on the right hand page above and with no other ideas of how the finished piece was to turn out , I just started drawing, getting a feel for the figure and her pose.
My previous paintings have often only had very minimal backgrounds; blurry and atmospheric but I have been playing around with ideas of ‘place’ in my sketches so knew that I wanted to add some of these ideas into new work. I had taken some photos at Newstead Abbey a while ago and really like the archways so decided to incorporate those into the composition.
This is the largest painting I have worked on since my Art College days at 24″ x 30″ which is pretty much double the size I have been painting on the last few years. It is on 100% cotton watercolour paper that has been prepped with gesso and I started drawing with first a 2b lead pencil and then a black marks-all pencil to begin defining the lines. At this point I was drawing the arches by eye only – no measuring, just trying to put something in.
When I am painting I am not really thinking too much about how the finished piece will turn out, or indeed a particular theme. Although all of my work has a distinct ‘style’ (or at least I hope it does) this is not neceassarily a conscious thing – I just paint what I paint (in simple terms). There are quirks that carry on through – the doll like/puppet like figures; the awkward poses; the costume details; the melancholic expressions and the dark atmospheres and the oversized hands inspired by prosthetic limbs. So at this point of the painting I am leaning towards reds and rust colours, building up a base with the paints to then add details in later. I am painting with acrylics early in the piece – and flitting back and forwards between paint and drawing materials as I love working with line as well as colour and texture.
More progress tomorrow! Please ask any questions if you have any – I am enjoying looking back at the long process and journey of this piece.