Starting A New Painting
I've started a new painting and thought you might like to follow along from start to finish. The first thing I do after deciding what I want to paint is think about the composition and mull over colors. Sometimes, I'll sketch out an idea to help refine what I want to do.
Once I have a mental picture of the painting, the next step is gather up the photos, sketches, and other reference material. These help me see the shapes of what I am painting. Some artist project their references and trace the shapes. I haven't tried that – I like the process of drawing out the picture. For this painting I am using photos I've taken of irises and relying on years of observing irises up close in my yard.
The next step is choosing the size canvas and base coating the background color. I like to paint the whole background to get rid of the white and to help balance colors and tones from the start. I chose a dark green that will help create depth later in the painting. After the base coat is dried, I begin sketching right on to the canvas. I use a pastel pencil or chalk because I can wipe away it away with a wet towel. This way I can redraw as much as I need to until the composition and the shapes are to my satisfaction. Here's the start of the painting:
Now comes the best parts – painting! Stayed tuned for the next step and a further peek behind my easel. : )