I’m always interested in artist’s processes and getting a sneak peak behind the scenes. I like to learn how they think, see how they prepare for a piece, and where they draw their inspiration from. This is part of the reason I love going to the Portland Open Studios so much, and why I love to look at artist’s sketchbooks. I thought I’d give you guys a look at how I develop some of my paintings.
I posted a blog earlier about how I like to go on research walks when I’m feeling stuck for ideas. Recently on a quick research/head clearing walk I grabbed some seed pods to take home and draw. I tend to pick up things that catch my eye in some way and it isn’t until later that I begin to think about how to incorporate it into a painting. This time I picked up some Honesty Pods (isn’t that a great name?) and made a detailed ink drawing of the papery pods.
Sometimes I’ll do some quick sketches with pencil and work up to a more detailed ink drawing, but other times I get impatient and start with a pen right away. If the drawing is going well I continue, otherwise I make a couple drafts until I’m satisfied. Here are some pictures of the finished sketch with the pods.
Once I’ve got a sketch that I’m happy with I’ll tape a piece of Japanese tissue paper onto the drawing and trace the basic outline. I have to add all the crosshatching to the tissue when it’s taped onto a blank piece of paper because the ink bleeds through the thin tissue and can ruin a sketch. When I’m done transferring the drawing onto the tissue I can imbed the drawing the wax. The tissue absorbs the wax and becomes invisible appearing to leave the drawing suspended in the layers. This is my favorite technique because it allows me to incorporate detailed drawings in my paintings, and encaustic is a medium that is hard to get a lot of detail with. Below are some of the paintings that I’ve used the sketch for. I actually traced the entire drawing, then cut it into two pieces and made two small paintings that could be hung separately or as a set. It’s also a nice technique because each painting includes a drawing that was done entirely by hand, not printed or photocopied, so each one is slightly different and unique. Hope you enjoyed you look behind the scenes.