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Tuesday, February 19, 2013

The Process of Creating a New Painting

Showing The Process

The canvas is under painted with black gesso.
The composition is drawn on with pencil.

(I am not sure why, but some of the words in this post are high lighted in a color and double underlined.  It appears they link to advertisements I have not put into this post.  My apologies.  Please do not think I am leading you to these advertisements.  Preferably you should ignore them.)

 Many of you continue to ask me to show the process I go through when creating a painting. Last week you saw the blank canvas and sketches which were developed after completing a similar work and after spending time visiting the two different plants.  I find myself doing that, spending time looking at, thinking about, researching and sketching what ever it is I am going to use as subject matter.  In fact, when I am out on my bike or hiking or on the golf course, I find myself looking, looking, looking at everything around me, considering the shape, line, form, color of everything.  It's all part of my 'see where you are' philosophy.  And yes, that is the title of my book...See Where You Are.

In the case of the two flowers in the commission, hibiscus and bird of paradise, I can see them first hand and even bring some of them into my studio for sketching and inspiration because they grow in the yard where I am living for the winter.

Hibiscus petals and Bird of Paradise Flower.

After the composition is sketched onto the canvas the palette is selected.  Because I just completed a similar work, I will use the same palette.  These are acrylic paints, some from Liquitex, some from Dick Blick, some from Daniel Smith and some from Golden.  Typically my selection is limited to 5 or 6 hues, but for this work I have four greens, two blues, two reds, an orange, a yellow, three hues from the brown tones, and unbleached titanium white.  You can see I do some of my color mixing on the palette, but a great deal of it is accomplished directly on the canvas.

Palette for the painting.

I begin by painting in the background, which in this case is Phthalo Blue, Cobalt Blue and a bit of the Unbleached Titanium White.  It is my desire to have the deepest tone at the center of the canvas, lightening as the color spreads to the outer edges of the canvas.  

Next I lay in the veins of the leaves using most of the hues in the palette with emphasis on the use of the Cadmium Reds because I want the brightness and drama of red to appear in the painting.

Working from background forward, left to right, the leaves begin to take form.  All those greens, a bit of yellow, the Phthalo blue for shadow affect, and the Unbleached Titanium for high lights create the leaves.

After many hours at the easel this section of the painting has life, color and movement.  I will move to the right side of the canvas next to work in the leaves on that side.

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