Monday, June 22, 2009

Questions--How do you begin your paintings?

MaryLeith, age 12 and the daughter of one of my collectors, is quite interested in art. Last week she emailed me asking if I drew before I begin painting and for info about my brushes. So MaryLeith, this post is for you and anyone else who has an inquiring mind!

Above: I usually begin with a toned canvas, usually a warm color, usually orange. I never wear orange, have no orange in my house, and would not want an orange car, but I LOVE orange in painting. It adds sparkle and punch, so I aways try to let a little of the underpainting show through.

Next I begin my drawing, with a brush. Generally the drawing is just for placement and composition. I do not "fill in the lines" when painting over it.

Here's another example of the drawing--quite simple, geometric, and almost abstract. Of course, if it's a complex subject, I make a more detailed drawing.
More later this week on what happens next.
My brushes are hog hair filberts which hold plenty of paint and deposit it on the canvas with a nice spring in the bristles. I usually use a #2 to draw with and then just 2 others to paint with--as big as I think I can get away with so I won't get my painting too "picky". The painting knife is used to paint thin lines, deposit lots of pure color, and to scrap off a passage if I wish to repaint it. The metal can holds mineral spirits for painting outside.
And MaryLeith, you are so right. An artist gets better if she practices, that is paints a lot. I draw and paint everyday.

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