One of the people who follow this blog said “…I don’t fully understand the process, but love the outcome…”. (Yes, it makes me laugh to write ” …one of the people…. “, like there are hundreds of thousands of faithful admirers staying abreast of my progress….ha ha ha haaaaaaaa)
Anyway, because of that, here’s a little bit of a step-by-step for what I do.
* Find a Royalty-Free image of what I intend to paint
* Manipulate it by cropping, re-sizing, etc, to ensure that it fits the size of canvas I’m using
* Draw it on the canvas
* Do the Background – It took me a couple of paintings to realize that I had to get the background exactly the way I wanted it before starting the painting. Trying to monkey around with the background after I’d put on the black lines was really awkward. In fact, on one of them, the piece was completed, but I was so frustrated by the background, I finally just painted over the WHOLE painting in BLACK, and then washed the black off under a tap in the sink. Fortunately, it did what I was hoping it would do, which was to leave black in any nicks and crevasses on the paper, and made it look wonderfully aged. This is the one I painted over entirely black:
* Choose a color palette. I’m going to do the next few paintings using pink and orange as the primary colors, with a few others thrown in for interest.
* Lay down color. There are some areas where I’m deliberate; for example, I want the gills to be very similar shades, and I want the brush strokes to go in a particular direction. There are some areas where it’s just a crazy mishmash that I hope works out in the end; for example, the body of the fish is pretty random.
Once I’m happy with the piece, I leave it at least 24 hours to fully dry. The final step is outlining with black.
Look at the following image – I forgot to paint in the eye, so I had to do it AFTER I added the black paint. And, SURPRISE, I didn’t wait till the black had dried so I kinda messed it up, but fortunately I was able to recover it. Also, where I said “I want the gills to be very similar shades, and I want the brush strokes to go in a particular direction” – I actually realized THAT step after I’d done this particular fish – it’s gills could have been done waaaaay better! Writing out these steps really helped ME.
So far, it has been a REALLY pleasant surprise after I’ve done the outlining/scribbling; this last step seems to make everything just POP!
This painting looks much better in real life – my photos are really pathetic………….