A beginning. The New Year is coming!!!


A beginning. The New Year is coming!!!

This is about beginning – beginning to paint.

Much has been written about beginning. Remember Churchill..”This is the beginning of the end/or the end of the beginning”. There are five different stories in the Bible about Geniesis..the beginning of the world and ourselves. The Chinese say “the journey begins with the first step”. And so it goes.

You begin with the blank canvas. How to start? Well there are many ways. You have to find out what works for you and always for the project in mind. Drawing, value studies and composition very important. You need a sketchbook, and a choice of pencils, pens, markers as well as an I pad. All artists need lots of reference material on subjects that interest them, as well as colour swatches and just plain interesting stuff. This used to be a huge problem for artists with building files, scraps of paper books etc. I have studios in two locations and the “files” took up time and space, let alone all that printing of pictures from my cameras. Load all your pictures on your computer and as soon a you can buy an I pad so you can take visual noted anywhere and read your designs right in the studio with nothing to clutter time and space. I now use my I pad for sketching and recording text in books and magazines. Amazing.

Back to beginning…Flick through your resources, flagging what you like. Sketch four rectangles on a page and start fooling around with placement of shapes and forms. Pick two. Now rework putting in at least three values. There will be more on values in a blog. You have a start. Congrats.

I like to draw at this point, as it is an experience with traditional materials. I begin now much as a cook with relishing the senses and by lovingly handing my equipment. I squeeze out the entire delicious colour on the palette and think about how others, than me have used these colors. That sometimes takes a quick look at artist I am thinking about. Lately it is Scott Naismith, Brian Ruttenberg and Wolf Kahn. Then I select brushes rubbing my hands up and down and the bristles. Never think what this costs. It ruins the love affair! I caress my canvas and paper feeling the surface and all of the edges many times to imprint the size and format. Then I give it an under coat. Lately that is fluorescent pink, but the Group Of Seven used burgundy red. Your choice.
I adjust the rugs, water, and lighting getting everything just right. Next comes a few arm circles and knee bends. I lay out my reference material…turn on the tunes. Usually Mozart to begin with.

Now stand at your easel holding the brush at the end. I draw with a contrast colour sketching in the most important area first. Everything follows.

Next blog – colour, the most important part of any art work, and a reflection of you as anartist and individual.

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