As an artist, many times I am asked what inspires a painting, what my process is and what mediums I use to create a painting. So over the course of the next few months I will let you in on my creative process and will post a few paintings in progress. This is a recent commission piece that I did for a client.
FIRST AND FOREMOST- SKETCHES, SKETCHES AND MORE SKETCHES!
“You can’t sketch enough. Sketch everything and keep your curiosity fresh.” ~ John Singer Sargent
When I start a commissioned painting, I will usually sketch 3 0r 4 different ideas down on paper. In this case, the client wanted a painting similar to another painting that was sold (“Awake in a Dream”). The flow and colors of that painting inspired me to do these sketches. From there. the client will choose the one they most connect with. This time around, the client choose the sketch on the left in the picture below.
TRANSFERRING TO CANVAS AND ADDING COLOR!
After the client has choosen a sketch, I will then transfer it to canvas. If this was a portrait piece, I would use the grid method to tranfer it to canvas to ensure proper portions. But being this is an abstract piece, I will draw it freehand onto the canvas board.
In all my mixed media paintings, I will paint a base layer of Colbalt Blue and Raw Sienna (acrylic paint) over the pencil sketch. Even though this layer is not always prominent in the finished painting, I like the subdued effect it lends to the piece.
Next comes the first layer of ink. I have used several different types of pens including Sharpies and fine tip pens but the ones I like the best are Mainstays Permanent Markers. They are inexpensive, which is great – I go through at least 3 or 4 for each painting! The ink is permanent and will withstand layers of paints. Plus it gives a vibrant black which is what I am looking for.
MORE PAINT AND MORE LAYERS OF INK!
As the painting progresses, I will add more color to it using a varieties of mediums. In all my mixed media paintings, I use Reeves Watercolor pencils, Mainstays Permanent Markers and Pebeo Acrylic paint. I have recently discovered Inktense Permanent ink pencils which I am excited to try out in my next Mixed Media painting. For any white areas of the painting, I find white Gesso to be the best medium to use. It’s a very vibrant and bold white. Nothing like I can find in an acrylic paint. It’s my go-to white every time. I also use it for any textured areas in the painting.
…AND LAST BUT NOT LEAST – THE FINAL APPROVAL!
Once the final painting has been approved by the client and no changes are needed, the painting is then varnished, mounted and framed. I use Windser & Newton UV Gloss Varnish. The varnish will protect the painting from airborne pollutants, UV damage and fading. And I find the gloss really makes the colors POP out of the painting! The colors are more vibrant and bold after I apply the varnish.
As for mounting the painting, I use 1/8″ Acid-Free White Foam Board. It’s a strong surface that can support the painting well and the vibrant white color of the foam board is a great contrast for these colorful Mixed Media paintings.
As with all my paintings, I let my awesome Facebook fans come up with a name for the piece. And in this case, my client was on board for the idea as well. The name she choose, from a list of many great names, was “The Quickening”.
Now, all that’s left to do is sign it and ship it away! Another happy customer!
Total time it took from sketching to final mounting of painting: 12.5 hours