How I Create Paintings

Christene Sandeson Art 2 Comments

Once I have an understanding of the piece I am creating, I start to make the work more luxuriant, soft, delicate, mysterious. This sensual quality is how the artist begins to make magic with the materials they have chosen. It takes experience to discover this, beyond the struggle to learn composition, drawing, subject matter and technique, but it is the quality that every artist seeks to learn. Some people think of it as a discovery of their style.

Once I have a few layers of paint on my canvas and an idea already started, I start to figure out where I can make the art piece more satisfying.

I begin to use my brush to create Lines in a very liquid, barely-there way. I brush some gel-laden colour (white + ochre) to connect areas, making them into something fun. These lost edges and areas of Shape seem to capture and connect some of the vague areas previously considered unimportant. These disappearing lines and edges are entirely my own discovery and have not been taught to me by someone else.I notice my use of Color, when the piece is more resolved, to further develop my shaped areas. Yellow glazes, for example, push the colour back, intensify a colour or suggest a ‘summer’ look. To make a glaze, I mix a blob of water or acrylic gel to a tiny dot of paint. This gel+color becomes a veil of colour that when spread over an existing area, slightly enhances that previous layer. Alternatively, a bold scumble of dry red over an underlayer will pop the colour forward.

A soft surface Texture appeals to me, even though I may previously have used a palette knife or a gouge to carve into an under layer of paint, or have used that gouge to remove a previously unwanted pimple of paint. I have also embedded string into paint for a harsher look but have not done that in some time. I have also laid the very thick and opaque modelling paste over areas of a canvas to disguise the natural canvas texture. Modelling paste can be laid down right at the start if a texture is wanted.

Toward the end of a piece, I enhance the Composition by framing the border of the canvas with a soft, edgeless blur of colour. This bordering or framing with a soft pale colour at the edge helps me think about how the lines are entering and exiting the piece.


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