Saturday, January 10, 2009

The Painting Process

Well, more accurately, MY painting process. For this painting. (ahem) Since I have no formal training and only completed a few oil paintings to date, I don't think I really have a process yet. But I thought it might be an interesting exercise to document the process of one of my paintings from beginning to end.

Our tuxedo cat, Xander, just loves playing with plastic bags. His portrait was overdue so I opted to use a shot of him with his favorite toy.

Here's the original photo:
I haven't exactly created a photo realistic painting... lets call it "painterly" and leave it at that. What I'm very happy about is that I did the whole thing in one sitting this afternoon. I might go back and touch up a few things but it's essentially done. Throughout the process, I shot pix of the canvas... here is the result:

It started with an acrylic wash. When that dried, I sketched the subject out very roughly in pencil.

From there I started roughing in some paint and wiped away shadow areas as I went.

Filled in the background and added some blue detail to the bag. (And to the cat but I thought better of that later).

Started filling in some detail within the cat... filled out the background. Finished the green blanket. Added whiskahs.

Na-taaa! Finished painting.
Now that I've had a good look at the photo, I can think of a few things I'd like to go back and continue to work on:

1) Add highlights to Xander's back;
2) Make the bag more bag-like and less iceberg-like. Maybe add a bag handle and some of the logo;
3) Try and make Xander look a little less sad;
4) Sign it

Cat with bag
oil on canvas
12" x 12"

3 comments:

Sheila said...

Love your sense of humor, self critique and work process. Thanks for sharing all that with us!

John Andrews said...

thanks sheila!

Jenne said...

I love seeing all the stages - this is so exciting!

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