Monday, July 1, 2013

BeforeThat First Stroke

"Into The Light, 19 x 25, pastel on Mi-Tientes Touch board.
I don't just select a photograph from my collection and start painting simply because I think it looks nice.There are lots of questions I have to ask myself about the scene before I'm ready to commit to painting it. Here are some:
What do I want to bring out in the painting?
What do I want to convey to the viewer?
What is my focus all about?
What is it I felt when first looking at the scene in real life?
Where do I want the eye to travel in the scene?
What support, pastels and other media do I want to use for the painting ( what paper, board, brand, color )?
How large do I want the painting to be?
What method and process do I use? 
These are just a few, but I think you get the idea. Some paintings take a lot of forethought and planning, while for others the answers come almost instantly without decisions to make ( I love to paint these kinds, but it doesn't happen too often).
The painting "Heron Lake Loop Trail II" was one of those that the photo of the scene sat around for a while first as something intriguing but passed over. It was several months before my decision was made. I knew I was inspired by the morning light,  shadows and pallet of the scene. When I knew what my ingredients were for the painting, I was committed and ready to start. Was or is this particular recipe a success?  Now.... that depends on the viewer.


  1. I love your work, it's so inspiring. And I think I shall make a list of my own questions to ask myself when I begin a drawing, it is a great idea!

    1. Thank you Felicity. Yes, it is so important to do that.

  2. Quite lovely. Thanks for your insight.