How long did that take you to do?
How many times have you been asked this question?
Firstly, I’ll focus on what happens even before the paint hits the canvas!
Okay … so I decide my next painting is going to be a seascape … surprise surprise!! I then have to decide whether to do it in pastel or acrylic; on paper or canvas; big or small; landscape or portrait; close-up or distant; sunny or overcast.
Then I realise I don’t have a suitable reference photo … so I put on my photographer hat and off we go … to the beach on a sunny day where the waves are gently lapping the shore and the children are squealing as they frolic in the shallows (get the picture?). I take hundreds of photos!! Thank you digital camera :)
Back home I put my photo editing hat on and customise the cropping feature to fit my support. Then I scan through all the photos … cropping and saturating and saving in a special ‘possible paintings’ folder. I then go through all the photos I’ve saved until I decide which one will be my next victim and print it out onto photo paper using ‘best quality’.
Out comes the sanded paper or canvas and gesso, brush and roller and I slap on two coats of gesso, rolling it lightly to make sure it’s nice and smooth. Once it has dried I can finally put my Artist hat on and start painting! Yippee!! The painting process can take anything from 8hrs to 3mnths.
Once the painting is finished I put my photographer hat back on to take some digital images prior to varnishing. Then I apply two isolation coats and two varnish coats and finally it’s off to the framers! My framer, Aaaron Framed It, is nearly an hour away so I usually try to keep a few frames on hand instead of waiting a couple of weeks for the frame to be made and then driving back to pick it up! If it’s a painting on canvas I only have to attach the D-rings and wire on the back.
So … now I have a painting! Great! Now what do I do with it? Now I have to put my photo editor hat back on and make sure the image I took of the painting is square and adjust the colours to match the painting as close as possible. Then it’s time to put on my marketing, social media and website editor hats so I can start downloading the image onto my website and social media platforms. A trip into the Gallery could also be involved … possibly another hour each way!
Q: How long did that take you to do?
A: This much and a bit more :)
Happy creating, photographing, editing ……………