Monday 20 January 2014

Painting Secrets

    I started working on a new painting yesterday, and so I thought today I would give some insights about the way I paint.  Most of the people that have seen my paintings know that I divide the canvas up into squares and each morning I paint a square.  
    I have the image that I am trying to paint on my computer.  That image is also divided into squares.  Each day before I begin to actually paint, I zoom into the particular square I am going to paint that day.  The photo on the top is the zoomed in square that I painted today.  You will notice that I have a series of lines across the picture.  They are guide lines.  I draw the same lines across the square on my canvas that I am about to paint.  They help me sketch out the areas on the square on the canvas, so that I can draw everything in the right place.
    Then when I have finished the rough sketch on the canvas, I begin to paint, concentrating on what colors I see and trying to mix that color for the painting.  The lower photo shows the square as it ended up on my canvas.   Each square usually takes between 45 minutes and an hour to complete.  I like to listen to CBC’s “The Current” (a news and current event show) on the radio as I paint the square.
    Although I try to paint realistically, and many people comment that my paintings look so real, as you can see from the two squares, while similar, they do look a lot different from each other.  After the image has been passed through my eye, to my brain, and hands, it changes a bit.  Another thing I think is interesting, is that when I am zoomed in on a square and painting it, I don’t always know what it is I am painting, I am just trying to match what I see.  It isn’t until I finish painting the squares that surround it that it becomes clear.  
    The painting I am working on is an image of a “Hen and Chicks” plant in the fall when it is very colorful.  The square you see is a blurry part of the image, so it makes it even more difficult to recognize.  You can follow along with my daily progress on this painting by clicking on the “Current Work” tab on my website.  
    Now that you know my painting secrets, you can begin your painting career.

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