Choreographed Canadian Landscape Paintings



Process II-Every Artist has some sort of process

You may remember that the last blog entry was about how my process starts: getting the pencil sketch ready. This stage is often the longest. I like to have my composition set before I start to paint. This is because the presence, here and there, of the black underpainting is important and I don’t want to end up obliterating it . 

When I have a sketch ready, I transfer the design to the black textured surface. Even though my compositions are made up of simple shapes, since I have worked so carefully on the sketch, I use a high/low combo of technology to transfer my sketch accurately to the canvas:  chalk and a projector. 

Black is the darkest dark. Anything else looks lighter and brighter beside it and so I will use a lot less intensity in my palette than many artists. This is so my work doesn’t look like a black velvet painting from the 1960s! 

I can start painting in any shape. Just decide. And decide on a colour. Within the groupings of ‘shapes’  on the sketch, I can play with all sorts of colours of similar value (lightness or darkness). Matching values between colours is a very useful and important skill for an artist. 

To maintain and emphasize the shapes (both negative and positive shapes) within the composition, I actually leave a black “outline.“

Sometimes, not often, the work calls for a midway redo or rethink of a few shapes.  It’s more usual to progress working through my shapes until it’s time to step back and make a grand evaluation before the fun finale. I’ll leave that for next time. 

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