The start of a painting is a lot like the start of a trip. You have a real good idea of where you are going and how to get there, but there are detours along the way. With this first painting the detour was right at the beginning, when the Traveler's story was way different than the painting idea. With that I decided to stay a little longer in Portland.
Portland is such a beautiful place I heard it's hard to even stop painting there. When you travel 20 min. in any direction, you have totally different sites to take in. You have an Ocean with its rocky coast to the west. You have mountains over there and big giant forests over here. And that's not even counting Portland's own beauty. The Japanese Gardens are supposed to be a wonderful place to take in. So I'm staying a little longer here. And that will give other Travelers in this journey more time to pack.
Remember to be a Traveler in this project, just become friends with the Artist, have a great story to share, and some type of small souvenir like a postcard or used lift ticket to contribute to the blog and painting. Making new friends and learning about new places is what this project is about. Like I always say, "Come find me, I'll be painting somewhere." and join in the adventure to cover the world in paintings.
The Artist's Notes: When I received Jerry's story, I felt that what I was going to paint of his journey didn't go with his story. I've illustrated for many a year for books and in advertising and know they need to mesh a little more. So as the Artist, I called for a detour. His story was about how hard it was to get there for a guy in a wheel chair and his dog. And not just any dog a full grew St. Bernard. Jerry's a tough guy, and I'm sure his trip was a lot rougher than he lets on. But that being said lets get to the painting.
The better you know your subject the less you have too known about it. I'm starting this painting on a 20" x 24" linen canvas that has a clear acrylic coat on the surface in my studio. I have the story information from the Traveler; I have a few images to work with and a post card from Portland. Thank you Jerry.
In this first day of site seeing I want to map out what I do. First is the design of the painting. Without a good design the painting will not make it far, a good composition can make a painting great. I like to familiarize myself with the subject or "interview it" as an old art buddy told me. This is where I try and break the painting apart to its simplest forms. With the basic composition in mind I can design the image. (See image below)
Before I mix up my paint I transfer my sketch loosely to the canvas. I'll rub in a little paint on the canvas with the brush and then use a paper towel to smear it around. Then I'll try and pull out the high lights from the wet paint. And then draw in the sketch. (See image below)
I look for harmony in the colors on my palette before I put them on the canvas. If a color jumps out too much it's usually wrong, but not always it does depend on what you're painting. Remember sometimes the rules of art are meant to be bent or broken. Funny I've always have found that saying strange, that " Art has rules to go by, and then turning around and telling you it’s OK too bend and break them. Maybe they are more like Guidelines.
OK, finally paint on Canvas. Music is on, and I'm off. I'll lay in the dark colors first to get the structure of the painting down. I put my dark colors in thin and lights colors thick. I work with a large brush to block in the painting quickly. Think big brush, big strokes, and big ideas. By the end of the block in the painting should really be taking form. (See image below)