Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Painting Processes

It's so interesting when you see how another artist works so I recently took a series of photos to show my process and how I go about starting a painting.These photos are of the painting I did for the Alice in Wonderland show on at Espionage Gallery until the 1st of April. I would say I spent a good two to three weeks on and off on this painting with many sketches beforehand.

 I usually start by putting a few extra layers of gesso on just to make the surface smoother. I like to first sketch it up in watered down (turpentine) burnt umber or raw umber to try and figure out things like the position or size. Often I have a damp rag handy with me to rub away mistakes. I find the whole process is a series of correcting my mistakes!

  The first 4 images are the same sitting and you can see all the adjustments and sketchy lines. I really dislike my initial painting sketches - somehow they always look a little monstrous! Once I am semi happy with the initial sketch and have put in a few shadows I like to leave it and let it dry.

The next thing I do is put colour in and tidy it up a bit as I go. I begin very sketchy and loose and slowly tighten it up as the painting develops.  The 6th image is a weird camera angle, slightly looking down but at this point the painting is somewhat coming together and has a couple of layers on it now. I don't really ever use a lot of red but I love using it in little bits such as on the lips, to draw the viewer in and sometimes to guide them around a painting.

At this stage I start putting in details such as the diamante on the mask. This was an agonizing task. I spent a good three hours one day just painting dots continuously and that was only for the ears! From here I just keep going over with layers building up colour, shadow and highlights until I'm satisfied.

I'm still not sure how I feel about this painting. Sometimes I like it and other times I hate it but I guess that's what makes it exciting and why I'm so addicted to it.

Every time I start a painting its always a little bit different. Sometimes i have coloured grounds or if I am working with watercolour its a completely different story! I'm not an expert on painting by any means but I think its about finding your own way and trying out different things with each painting you do.

So that gives a little bit of an insight into my process- for this painting at least!



  1. I think it's great to give a little bit of insight into what goes on behind the scenes in creating the final piece. Your piece looks amazing in the photos from the exhibition.


  2. I've always been fascinated by your paintings! They are so beautiful. It's great to see a bit of documentation of your process. I get really excited seeing the different development stages your painting goes through. You are so talented!