Monday, September 8, 2014

"Mettle", step-by-step of a painting

Taking a painting from initial concept to finished artwork takes many steps for me. Below is the condensed, step-by-step process.

Steps One and Two
I start with small, black-and-white thumbnail sketches so that I can view the impact of the design. Once I select my design and format, I proceed to 5x7" color studies to find my palette. 

Thumbnail sketches and color studies. I settled on a primary color 
palette of Red, Yellow and Blue (right), with Yellow as the dominant 
color, Blue as the secondary, and Red as a discord (or accent) color.


Step Three
When I am planning a large painting, I will often do a smaller one to work out areas I am unsure of. Below is a 19 x 13" painting that is headed for the recycling bin. I worked and re-worked areas until I had a design that I liked.

19 x 13"c color study

Steps Four to Six
The final painting is 29 x 19" (30 x 29" after framing). I made a few design changes in the drawing then started with loose washes in the background.

I continue coming forward from the background, covering big areas. I try to keep the background looser, saving the details for the foreground and figure.

I work my way down the painting, often referring to my original color study for guidance.

Step 7
Finished up the details in the foreground, made a few changes to the background, and it's done!

Mettle, 33 x 23", watercolor

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