I am always interested in learning about and from the habits of other artists. We can learn so much from observing each other work. Now, if I had to choose one word to describe my studio practice it would be LABORIOUS. Although slow might be a good alternative. A recent painting came together in just under 2 weeks and I was so proud until I realized that I had been collecting and working with the imagery for that composition for nearly 2 years. Darn.
Here are a couple of the steps I take when starting a new painting:
Sketching- A lot. I refer back to my sketches to trace out elements and layer them back into a work in progress. Sketching also aids in thinking through resolving problem areas in a composition.
Collage- I often start composing by collaging or I might resort to it as a quick way of seeing an image differently. Just cut it in half! Turn it upside down! The results of collaging by hand are different for me than using Photoshop- I use the two for different needs. Collage lets me stay in the realm of the tangible (versus digital) and I like the clumsy inaccuracy of a hurried hand.
Colors- I typically start a painting with a set of complements or a single local color in mind that I pull from the location or objects I am painting. All other color decisions are made based on that dominant relationship. In this case, one of the sites I am working from contained a lot of orange and blue- Voila!
In- progress photos- A quick snapshot allows me to work out composition kinks on the go and while at my day job using Adobe Sketch on my iPad. Doing this helps me to plan ahead and to minimize decision-making time for the next studio session (although sitting and doing nothing is also a huge part of my practice!)
On the note of sitting and staring- I am going camping this weekend! So glad to have time to escape the daily grind. Happy Independence Day weekend to all you USA folk and a great weekend to all!