This is the current drawing that I am working on, and as I always find it fascinating to see how others go about constructing their paintings I thought I would show you how I work.
Most of the time I work off photos that I have taken. I am not a good photographer and a lot of my photos are taken with the iPhone, but as I am not a botanically correct artist, I don’t require the level of detail that they do. I am looking for interesting shapes and colours. I will take a lot of photos of the flower and then play around cropping it until I get a composition I like. Some times I will join together a couple of bits to get what I want and other times it works in the photo like this one did.
I then do a rough sketch on thin paper and get an idea of the shapes and composition of the painting. I like to take particular care on the shapes and the curves of the plants so that painting will have lyrical lines and the shapes are pleasing and give the feeling of the flower that I want to convey. I also like to show people parts of the flower that they might not take the time to see.
Transferring the Image and Inking up
Once I am happy with the image I will transfer it onto my thicker good quality rag paper. I like to use heavy paper around 300gsm. Mostly because I enjoy the feel of this heavier paper and because it handles the paint and doesn’t buckle. I use the highly technical method of holding the two pieces of paper up onto the window and tracing the back image onto the front. Once the image is transferred and touched up I usually ink it. I find if I leave the HB pencil lines they often bleed into the paint and colour pencil work, dulling and changing the colours.
I like to under paint my colour pencil work, it gives it more intensity and makes the pencil work quicker, which is helpful in the size of work that I undertake. Most of my paintings are either A1 or A2 size. It also gives me a chance to check on the colours to see if they are working and if the overall composition is ok, before I embark on the colour pencil shading.
Shading with Colour Pencils
Now the part I like best, but also the most time-consuming part, shading with the coloured pencils. I really enjoy taking these flat objects and making them into living moving flowers, bringing out the lovely shapes and colour, it is a little bit of magic.
But this is where I am up to at the present so you will have to wait until I finish before I can show you the last step and how this painting will turn out.