Friday, May 29, 2020

How to Begin a Painting


My friend asked me how I begin a painting and what are the layering steps. That's a question that frequently comes up, one I also like to inquire of other artists. I'll answer by showing you some of the beginning layers... they're Are Not Pretty.

10x10 acrylic on paper
This first image is of a finished painting which I began as described below:


Layer 1:  I chose 6 boards that had color already on them, but which had no relationship to one another, hoping to make a short series out of them, related somehow.

Layers 2-6: I chose a limited number of colors for my palette: yellow ochre, ultramarine blue, black and white, and began making marks using a variety of tools: brushes, squeegee, old credit card, painting knife, trowels, a dental pick for scratching lines, a silicone scraper, grease pencil, and probably some other things that I've forgotten.  I worked for one hour and turned these 6 boards....

into this....

Yes, I know they are still ugly, but they are related and the layers of paint on paint on paint give me something to respond to. If you click on the pictures you can get a more detailed look at sections of each piece. At this point there was so much wet paint on each piece that I had to give it a rest and let them dry.

My next step will be to go over all six pieces with my electric sander in order to reveal bits of the color that's underneath.  I'll take pictures and show you my progress in my next post.


And by the way, I have a new website, a gallery at DailyPaintWorks, where I have work for sale. I'd love it if you'd go have a look and let me know, frankly, what you think. Make a note of the address,, and share my good news, if you please.

If you aren't familiar with DPW treat yourself to a subscription that features the work of hundreds of painters delivered as a once-daily email to your inbox.
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