The majority of my paintings and drawings come from a basic idea. This idea usually starts from a simple sketch and evolves into its own style. Whether I use ink, chalk, water colors, or digital art, the original concept stays the same. On this post I will illustrate the various attempts I make to deliver a simple sketch into a presentable form. There is a lot of trial-and-error, and sometimes I feel I’m wasting materials with my designs, but as a colleague once reminded me, you can’t make an omelet without breaking an egg.
Here’s a page off my sketchbook. This was done in Nov 2011. The top-right sketch is the one I try to bring to life. In order to remember and reference this design, I simply call it “flower in rain”.
One of my first drawings was done with soft pastels on textured paper. I didn’t really like the way it was turning out. It seemed a bit cluttered, dull and disordered. I may revisit this drawing later, but at this point I don’ think I can salvage it.
My second attempt was on digital form. While I still like the colors, geometry and basic design I feel it’s lacking an organic feel. It looks like a robot could have made this. I decided to stop the work on this as well. This drawing was done using Adobe Illustrator, all vector art.
My third attempt happened by chance. I found an old painting I didn’t like much. This cowboy and horse drawing was done a few years ago, and from the looks of it, it was more of a practice piece. I tried to add a few design elements to make this painting more interesting.
At this point I decided I went too far.
Instead of spending more time trying to fix it, I decide to paint it all black and start fresh.
After letting the blank (black) canvas dry a few days it was ready for new oil paint.
As I normally do, I sketched directly on the canvas and added thick layers of paint. From the beginning I wanted the canvas to have a lot of paint.
After the first session I found the background to be too flat. I let it dry a few days and gave it some depth by adding more black paint.
And here is the final piece. The photo (below) doesn’t accurately display some details. It appears the black paint didn’t reflect well and the texture got washed out.
Here is the painting mounted alongside other artwork. Except for the flyer on the left, the other paintings were also done by me.
This oil painting is approximately 11″ x 14″. After so many attempts I like how the final piece came out. This is a good example of how to recycle design ideas and canvases as well. After doing various paintings and drawings, and trying different media, I’m comfortable trying any style on any media without regrets. It doesn’t always work out the way I would like but it’s more important to try and fail than not try at all. Good luck with your projects. Till next time.