Friday, 12 November 2010

Ways of Working

This time of year is busy, artists are dropping off their pieces for Arts Hut. I am collecting and dropping off my work for Open Studios and Shows across the county. Plus starting to hang, display and promote the Arts Hut Christmas Show. In my Studio a whole new body of paintings are drying...

When starting a new series like my Still Life paintings I clean out the studio and put away older work. I paint the white painting panels with Paynes Gray to get rid of the white and glue a D Ring on the back. Then stack the panels to dry using wooden blocks. My paints are Winsor and Newton Artisan Water Mixable Oil Colour, exactly like oils to use without the smell and chemicals needed to clean up. I use a paper palette, so tear off the sheets and throw away when finished.

I research other artists paintings and pin a few images in the studio for inspiration. In the case of work I really love, I make tonal studies of their composition in pencil or biro in my sketchbook. I set up a blog link list, so I can refer to their websites easily and share with you who I found.

My painting panels measure 20cm x 20cm so I draw measuring lines on the painting panels and on the desk surface, this helps place the objects. I draw the composition in my sketchbook to use as a tonal guide. Then start painting, always standing up, marking where my feet are.

I apply the paint in layers, maybe working on six small paintings in a day, then hang them to dry as a group and start others. After a week or so, I might work on each painting some more. A small painting will usually take a month to finish, with four or five layers of paint. I especially like the texture that comes from using knives to apply the paint and scumbling with a dry brush. By hanging them on a wall together, I can imagine them in a Gallery setting.

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