Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Start With a Sketch

I keep a sketchbook because I am always getting ideas for future paintings. I know that sometimes it might be a while before I can get to the actual painting, since I usually have a long to-do list (both artistically and mommy-wise). I tuck snippets of research in the sketchbook too, to remind me of what I was thinking. As you can see, my sketches are so rough, that any memory-jogger would help! This sketch has a dividing line because I wasn't sure what format I would end up painting in.

Next I look through all my photo reference to find just the right birds. I have stacks and stacks of photos that I print out at 8x10 and keep in three ring binders so I can just flip through each book when I'm searching. The binders are divided by category: I have several for birds, one for cats and dogs, one for floral, and one for still life. I add to them all the time.

I knew I wanted the painting to have a sandcastle in it, so my daughter and I got out the Moon Sand (which is great stuff, much more fun than Playdoh) and the bucket of shells that we collected in Florida and started playing with it. We had to make lots of different sandcastles before we had it "just right", of course!

And here is the final result! This is just a snippet of the final painting, which actually is horizontal.

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