Sunday, December 30, 2012


I thought I should post this because sometimes
a) people ask me about my process and how I make my pictures look effortless
b) students tell me they have drawn something "loads of times" to get it right and that turns out to be about four times
c) people get scandalised because I "cut up my artwork for no reason" and ask me why I don't work on nice clean sheets of paper that look great framed up.

So here's how it goes.

If I find a pose hard to get right, I paint about three sheets of it. If it's easy, I'll just paint two sheets.
Sometimes I feel really sure of what I'm doing, then I'll just paint one sheet.

Next, I cut out the versions that strike me as good in some way...

...and put the rest straight in the recycling.
Editing improves most things.

I sort through the "good" paintings and pick the one that works best in context. Sometimes there isn't one that's good enough, then I make a note, get on with something else, and redo the whole thing the next day.
In this case I picked the dog at the bottom. The rest goes in a box. Sometimes I pick particularly nice characters from the box and collage them into original art for sale, but really only the best. The rest I might make into gift tags or some such.

This really works for me. I could pretend that I just meditate and then do it beautifully right the first time, but I don't think that's helpful to other people trying to make art. Sometimes it's just a case of trial and error.

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