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Starting A New Painting

Posted in Art Work, and Peeking Behind the Easel

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.

Yellow Iris

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:

Start of painting on 9 x 12 canvas

Now comes the best parts – painting! Stayed tuned for the next step and a further peek behind my easel.  : )


  1. I can't wait to see the finished product! I love the iris! I stopped by your etsy shop and you are so incredibly talented. Your paintings are beautiful and you wine glasses are amazing! I'll be your newest follower!

    July 22, 2011
    • Sibstudio

      Sher – How kind of you – thank you! I’ve followed you back : )
      Megan, Fabric – Thank you! I’ve started painting – more updates to come. : )

      July 23, 2011
  2. Fabric Fascination
    Fabric Fascination

    You make it look easy!
    Fascinating.  Thanks for sharing your process.

    July 22, 2011
  3. Very interesting – I'm looking forward to the next installment.  Iris are beautiful flowers – I love the form and the colors

    July 23, 2011
  4. Sibstudio

    I agree – they are a beautiful flower.  I love all the colors combinations and their frills.

    July 24, 2011

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