Monday, January 25, 2010

Old-Fashioned Art

There used to be a time when the world was not dominated by computers. That time fell around the same time I went to college. Sure, I used a computer in college, but it was not the only option. Mostly I just really wasted a lot of my time trying to figure out how to do crap on it. So, I developed a process for creating my art that did not involve computers. I still kind of use that process today. I'll share it with you just in case you are interested.

I mostly work from photographs to create my art. I'm not extrememly creative and I like painting scenes of nature (flowers, barns, etc.) better than a bunch of crap with crazy "meanings" anyway. Monet might have had all day to sit there and paint the effects sunlight had on waterlilies, but then again, Monet did not have 2 kids. So I take a picture, then I go home and paint it.

In the "olden days" I would take a picture with my point and click camera, then ride the bus to Walmart where I would drop off the film, then pick it up a week later when it was ready. Then I would take it to a photocopier, figure out how to get the picture blown up to the size I wanted, and a million dimes later I would have a picture to work from. Nowadays I take a digital picture, then print it the size I want on the computer.

Here's my picture:

Now I have to get my picture onto my watercolor paper. I suppose I could freehand draw it, but that puts too much pressure on my brain and forces me to use my artistic skills, so I just trace it. Yup...I coat the back of my copy with charcoal, then tape it to my paper and trace away.

After I take away the paper, I trace over the charcoal with pencil, because the charcoal will eventually wear away, then I'm left with nothing. Here's what it looks like:

Scary, right?

Well...that's it. I start my painting by filling in large areas of color. I tweak it and work with it for a few days, and eventually end up with a finished picture that, hopefully, doesn't suck.

I guess you'll have to tune in to see the finished result. If the suspense is just killing you (I'm so sure it is), here's a picture that I finished last year, along with the original picture:

By the way, I painted this picture of my sister-in-law's cousin after she died in a car accident.