Breaking it Down: Painting update

No title yet, (cropped) Pastel    

Here is a small peek (cropped) of the large piece I started last week.  You know, the one with the wild underpainting?  Yeah, it's not looking so "wild" anymore. 

Can you see the orange under painting peeking through?

I've come to a stop with the piece, resting and regrouping to see if it needs any adjustments before I call it finished.  My process of working on a piece takes several stages of which I thought I would briefly share.  
  • Composition and Idea identified: This is where you want to keep the viewer subliminally attracted to your work by having a focal point, a good lead in, and a path from which to explore the work. Also known at the Armature of a work. A few little thumbnails are in order here and then lightly sketched onto the painting surface.
  • Underpainting:  I like using wild complimentary colors at this stage. Sometimes you can limit your under painting to just one hue by aligning its' values with the shapes to create a founding structure of the composition.
  • Blocking In:  This is the ugly stage of each piece. This is where you paint in the large, loose shapes of the subject that are value based of the dominant color, working from dark to light in any given area.
  • Defining the Idea Further:  This is where a bit of meditation or lifted feelings begin to surface on the piece. At this point you work the idea out to it's intended message.
  • The Stewing Stage/Finishing:  This is where the piece is at now (above).  I've set it aside to "brew and stew" for a bit so I can discover any areas that need correction. Sometimes you can take a photo of it and then look at it in it's reverse stage on my monitor. You can also do this with a mirror, but I prefer the computer screen. There is usually something screaming out where you may need to adjust. Look at the proportions/dimensions, value, what's in light, what's in shade, edges, and mark making.  Also, be very careful not to over work a piece at this stage.  For me, at this point my foot rests on my brakes, ready to scream, as I know that I can easily kill a piece by overworking it.
    All these steps are summarized but for a more in depth lesson on the pastel process, I will be offering a workshop in February.... listed to the right--->
So hopefully I will finish this piece off after a few days of "stewing" before I call it done as the kids are off for two weeks.  That means there will be little or close to no painting over the Christmas break.  Certainly, I wish to start fresh for the new year.

All my best,

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Blogger Celeste Bergin said...

well, all that work is worth it! Lovely painting!

12/19/12, 12:06 AM  
Blogger Susan Williamson said...

Hi Brenda,
Any chance someone will video the demo on the 18th? I would LOVE to see it but live out on the East Coast.

1/2/13, 4:22 AM  
Blogger Brenda Boylan said...

Hi Susan,
Thanks for asking! I will try to set it up prior the demo. I do have a few demos posted on Youtube registered as Brenda Boylan. Check out my favorite one here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tVBfd6X7KgA&list=UUAjFEmP3tc_z1dW4aO5MwPQ

1/2/13, 9:13 PM  

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