Getting Prepped to Paint

I thought you might like to see a bit of the process I go through when I’m making these paintings.

First I take the image of the scene that I want to paint and tweak it in Photoshop so the colors really pop. Here’s an example of one I’ll be doing this week. I took a picture of the scene, which was in the usual sandy-brown and silvery blues of this particular place, and changed them to popping colors. Like this:

Artist for A Pristine Planet

Now I make a printout of this to use as reference. Then I draw out the main lines that define where I’ll lay in color.

Next I do a preliminary color value sketch in white and browns (see below).

This helps me determine placement of objects, shading, tones of dark and light, and where I want to emphasize light.

Here’s what the brown and white study looks like – you can see how I have changed the placement of the main elements and started working in a bit of magenta and light blue. (Now you can see how funky the paintings are when I first start them off!)

Artists for A Pristine Planet

A study like this also helps you if you have “blank canvas fear” (which I don’t, because when I prepare my canvasses, I paint them with a brown-tinted gesso).

Many people get freaked out by the white canvas and consider it intimidating – kind of like writing a book and looking  at the pile of blank white sheets sitting in front of you!

I’ll tell you more soon.

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