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How I create a painting.

Hello all!

Sorry about missing last weekend. I was very busy getting ready for the pop up shop in Box Park, Shoreditch after a long, slightly stressful week and had run out of steam. But I'm back now with a new blog post!

So today, I thought I'd show you how I come up with and create my paintings. I've developed a method that works for me at the moment so until I find or develop a new way, what I'm about to show you is the current method of how I create a painting.

Sit back and enjoy.

Like all artists, I begin with STEP ONE: THE IDEA

You can't have a final creation without an idea, so this is naturally Step One ! Whenever I come up with an idea, I write it down on a memo on my phone. As I have so many ideas, said memo is rather long at the moment. I honestly don't know why I have so many ideas but it's better than having so little, am I right?

My ideas seem to stem from the following:

  • The things that I love. This is an obvious one, yes. I mean, why would I make art about something I hated or felt 'meh' about? So as you can tell from my work, I love and get inspired by classic horror (be it book or film), skulls, American animation from the 1930s - 1950s, fairy tales, Disney park rides like the Haunted Mansion and Enchanted Tiki Room, Tim Burton and more!

  • Someone could make a comment, or show me an object and an idea will come from it. For example, 'Bluebird Vampire' came from a comment my cousin made about my hair being like a bird's nest! And my latest painting 'Lost Lenore' was sparked by my sister's boyfriend's ring, which was in the shape of a raven skull.

  • Some ideas just come from out of the blue. I kid you not, I came up with two ideas driving to my temp job once. It's weird.

Who'd have thought this was sparked from a meant-to-be annoying comment from one's cousin?

Once I have an idea that I'm going to focus on, I move on to STEP TWO: RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT

Those of you studying or having studied an art subject will totally get this. At school and college, this was the part of the coursework that always lost me marks because it would NEVER match the development work! But university made it much more clearer - they taught me that I didn't have to get inspiration from just fine artists - I could get it from film, photography, books, a simple picture, ANYWHERE! It freed up so many possibilities for me. And what's more, they encouraged us to use...


*heavenly choir noise*

Pinterest. One of the artist's best friends (in my humble opinion.)

Hands up who else is a Pinterest addict here! I LOVE Pinterest! I started off using it to pin gazillions of cake and sweet food recipes which I never try but now, it's mainly for art, inspiration and tutorials. So how does it come into my creative process? I create a board especially for said painting, and start to pin images that inspire me, has elements I want to use, reference images and more. So if you're an aspiring artist, GET PINTEREST NOW!

So now I have my Pinterest board and ideas, I start making thumbnail sketches to get a rough idea of the composition. Once I pick one, I move on to STEP THREE: THE FINAL SKETCH.

Final Sketch of Odette (The White Swan)

I like to draw out my piece onto paper rather than the main surface. That way, I don't feel so precious and picky about making mistakes, and I can annotate it if need be. I'

When the final sketch is done I can begin STEP FOUR: PAINTING

I am now ready to begin my painting! Hurrah!

So I begin by painting the main background colour. My relationship with backgrounds has got better over the years because I've learnt that they don't have to be overcomplicated. Once the background colour is down, I start by painting the background elements. This varies depending on the detail. For instance, the hieroglyphics for 'Queen Nefertiti' took a good couple of hours or so alone! Totally worth it, though. How I do this is I trace the elements from the final sketch, flip over and draw over it with a white pencil, and then flip it back over and trace it straight on the canvas. A bit lengthy, I know, but it works well for me.

The background without the figure.

When I'm happy with the background. the main subject is traced in the same method as the background and painted, building up on detail gradually. I reckon this method comes from my love of traditional cell animation.

WIP of the figure


After I feel a sense of accomplishment and pride when the painting is finished, I then go to get it scanned or photographed depending on the size so I can make prints and such from it, and show it off nicely on my website. Once that's done, I give the painting two coats of non-removable gloss varnish. The varnish not only makes the colours pop but also protects the painting from light, scratches and dust. I then show it off to the world via social media. (And via my mum, who loves showing off my work to others. Love you, Mum!)

So there you have it. This is my method on how I paint.

The finished Odette

See you next week! I'll see if I can do my first Artist feature for the next post. Until then, cheerio!



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