"Study in Green and Red"
Here we take a look at the method used to create one of Andrew's paintings. Although every painting is different, this 'behind the scenes' of the painting “Study in Green and Red” is a good example of how I might work.
In this instance, as I was painting to deadline, I limited myself to a canvas which had an appropriately sized floater frame already to go. The alternative was to use a deep edged canvas which could be displayed unframed. Unusually, I painted the canvas overall in black as the ‘undercoat’ – generally I’ll define key shapes at this point in time with different colours. (see picture 1)
Choosing the right canvas shapes often occurs concurrently with composing the image. Here on my trusty computer, I’ve found a satisfying composition from one of my photographs of a neighbour’s bush, which works with the canvas’s shape. Thankfully, no photoshop manipulation is required to personalise/ improve the image (see picture 2) Next, I print out the image actual size on my A3 printer (see picture 4). I will also print an A4 or A3 reduced size version on glossy paper as a different/ brighter colour reference. I will refer to both during production. I use white tracing sheets resting my wrist on a large plastic set square to avoid smudging. (picture 3)
With a palette of core colours from my Atelier Interactive Acrylic paints from Chroma, I start to fill in key shapes, and build up ‘till completed to a satisfactory level. (see pictures 5,6,7 and 8)
I utilise a flat head brush and a detailer as my preferred line of attack. (see picture 10) The tear off palette sheets I utilise have a life span and even though I cover with cling film between sessions, the paint will thicken and loose its purity of colour with over mixing. I will often retrieve still usable ageing paint and start off a new palette using it. (see picture 9) This creates a continuity throughout the duration of the painting process even though the paint quality will not be consistent.
Once the piece feels “loved and intended” its time to photograph it for use on cards and this web site. Overcast days seem to work best although bright sun light helps to bring out the colour. A wife is handy at this point, though not available from your normal artist materials supplier. Avoiding, shadows from tree branches can be a pain and the cat seen in picture 11 was frankly no use at all. Computer manipulation to correctly size and straighten the sides. Framing and adding a hanging wire is the final piece of the jigsaw.