Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Beginning A Painting "The First Steps"


The past few months of painting I have spent on smaller detailed oil paintings which I will post later this fall.  (I like to save them for an "opening" to a show" so they are new and fresh for the eye.)   Feeling a little stressed about not having enough time to complete all I have set out to do before upcoming shows this winter, I decided to do some larger scaled pieces with either my skys or just simply unique and colorful backgounds for my little detailed birds. 

I started a few backgrounds for my next couple of paintings with two 48"x36" canvas.  Beginning a painting backgound for me usually starts with applying black gesso.  I find that the dark background helps to make the colors that are layered in over it much more vibrant.  The colors will actually appear brighter and will have much more depth.   Years ago I would always begin on the white canvas, but once I discoverd how the dark underpaintings really made the paintings sing I was hooked.  I often will use a sienna color or a deep red underpainting for example under gold leaf.  It is fun to experiment.  For my next few paintings I have decided to take the plundge and work larger.  Since I already had a couple of 4ft x 3ft canvas in my studio I decided to start with those.   I am currently working on my detailed birds with books or musical instruments, and they are quite time consuming.  With the larger paintings I want to catch a subtle nuance of atmosphere in which to carefully place my bird.  They will be more about "color" and "emotion" and my challenge will be to create an interesting compostion with the birds on a vibrant backgound.  
Metallic gold brush strokes come next.  They are loosly applied and help to create a luminosity in the underpainting.
Next step ... I just add colorful brushstrokes randomly.  I like to have a little fun here because I know that I will be working very hard and long once I put on my jewelers glasses hanging in my studio in order to paint the fine detail in the birds.  Hours and sometimes days pass then of just sitting in one position in order to complete the birds.   This certainly must make my chiropractor happy because then I have more frequent visits.
Next I added the stripe of color and texture to one of the canvas.  The other painting is in a softer tone and is the one I am currently working on:
  

Next I sketch in the bird.  I like to use white stabilo pencils because they work great over acrylic or oil paint.  I then started to paint the bird.   I will add some tree branches in the final stages.

As the painting progresses I will take some more detailed photographs of it to post.  These are small and don't really show the colors well.  It was getting late and I had lost my light.  

Tune in again soon to see the finished piece.  I hope it will help you escape into the scene even if just for a moment in time.

see more works:

1 comment:

Ken Newman Sculpting on the Road said...

Very cool! Look forward to seeing you again in Scottsdale... The step by step is great. You are finding your voice in your blog. Congrats!
Ken and Debbie