Sunday, February 7, 2016

And This is How It's Done

 I'd like to show you a few steps on the process that I use when painting.

The first thing, and I find this very difficult, is picking a subject. Because I work from photographs, I can (without exaggerating) waste hours going through thousands of images. Plus I can can totally change my mind from the evening to the morning.

Once I have the subject, then I look at the image and pre-paint it in my mind. As one of my instructors, Brian Buckrell always said. "Pick a battle you can win."

O.K. let's go for it...
This is my subject image: a beautiful rocky walkway among the mountain tops.

The first think I like to do is to make some marks on the canvas with a liquitex paint marker.
This gives me a sense of direction and provides some guidelines.

Next I paint a warm undercoat, mixing the acrylic paint with gloss medium. 

Time to start blocking in some colour. I like to do what I consider the easy parts.

Many thin layers of glazes, mixing paint and gloss medium are applied to the canvas. At this point, you are just putting in the time as you build up the layers.

I sometimes call this the "What was I thinking?" stage. The inner chatter starts: I'll never make this work, maybe I should paint over it. A few curse words might enter this stage of the process.

O.K. so you can give into the voices, or if you are stubborn, like me, you try to work through it.
Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't, but as long are you have learned something...then what the heck.

If you do make it through to the other side, you will see the results and be happy that you persevered.
And you will inevitably announce that "This is the best painting ever."

To see more of my paintings, please visit my online gallery.

Till Next Time ...
From the Prairies, to the West Coast and Beyond...


Diana said...

Thanks for sharing your technique Susan. It was interesting. I've just started using liquitex paint marker. I like this idea!

Susan Schaefer said...

Hi Diana,

I am so glad I discovered them as well. I'm not one of those painters who can just start painting. This way I have a direction.