Sunday, April 15, 2012

Painting Concepts

I got the idea of scribbling thumbnails for concepts of paintings from Stephanie Pui-Mun Law, another watercolor artist I mentioned earlier today. Much of my process of starting a painting has come from looking at her blog. Generally it goes like this: An idea or sudden inspiration strikes and you immediately try to scribble out a thumbnail in order to catch the gist of the painting in terms of composition. Then you begin to flesh out more detailed sketches of elements of the thumbnail, such as the focus or other figures. With today's wonderful technology, you can then scan it all into photoshop and play around with the placement of the different elements. Once happy with the result, you can print it out onto paper and then transfer it to the painting surface.
This system has worked well for me so far... at least to the thumbnail point. I'll admit I haven't had any time with school to consider working on any full-blown paintings, but if God can grant me a little peace and patience, I know it will happen eventually! However, I do have time to put down quick ideas and compositions throughout the day in random notebooks and in an itty bitty sketchpad that I have recently purchased. Here are a couple of examples:

What's funny is that I didn't even think of Narnia and the lamppost in the woods until after I had gotten the idea out!

The idea came to me when I was in need of a bit of comfort- the title "Solace" kept rolling around in my head. Sitting amid the starfish and shells as waves surge and fall around you and storm clouds billow in the distance... It's a calming thought.


So much for keeping myself accountable, but I suppose late is better than never. Here are some scans of little practices and studies that I did a while ago, around Christmas, when I had a little extra time for myself.

Some experiments with mountains.

These are some trials with petals and shadows- I got the idea from a watercolor tutorial book by Stephanie Pui-Mun Law, who is an incredible artist, so please visit her site!

Stained glass, also from Stephanie...

These are my own little tree illustrations, trying out different techniques of wet-into-wet and wet-on-dry.

Credit goes to Stephanie for this one-- it was a little piece meant to practice using masking fluid-- but I'm still in love with the idea!
This is my second-full size piece (not quite finished yet, still need to wrap up details on her hair and the birds)-- also from Stephanie's tutorial book! Can you tell how enraptured I am by her depictions in watercolor? It's meant to show the enchantress Morgan LeFey. I can say I've truly enjoyed the journey, because you can learn something from each step in the painting, including the mistakes that aren't exactly planned. 

I'll say that's enough for now, but I'm planning on uploading some more of the in-progress shots that I took while painting so maybe some of us can find some insight on this fascinating process!