The Pre-Art Process

The Pre-Art Process

The pre-art process.

Welcome into my head!

Every artist has their own practices when creating their work. I really had to sit down and think hard to break this all down.  Putting it into words was quite difficult, but it has made me realize how much of it I was doing without thought, just following my flow!  So, if you're interested in how I create my Fire and Water style, read on!  



1. What the heck should I make?

Step one is just figuring out the subject, thought, and emotion I want to convey. I might be working on a certain collection, or maybe I've had something stuck in my minds eye for a while that needs to come out.  Either way, it always starts with something I love and/or I am intrigued by and want to learn more about.  For instance, with my "Peek-a-boo" piece, both I and my husband LOVE Bald Eagles.  We live near a lake which hosts a few mating pairs and we are blessed to frequently see them flying over our home regularly.  But, being 52 as I write this, I remember a time where seeing a Bald Eagle was a VERY rare sight, so now, every time I see one it stirs emotions of wonder in me.  So, I KNEW I had to express this in art!


Research and Reference

Often I find, just because I love something, maybe the emotion it stirs in me, a memory it brings to mind, or simply an aesthetic, doesn't mean I know a lot about it. I always want to learn more about the subject I intend to create. By researching my subject I feel I can create an even deeper emotional attachment to it. By understanding my subject, I can better translate that into my art.  So to Google I go, because, ya know, Google has all the!  For instance, I knew they were fast, but did you know when a Peregrine Falcon dives for it's prey it can reach speeds up to 200 mph!  That's crazy!  It's also the basis of my "Cliff Diver", tucking in at the beginning of his descent.  Here's a link to just one of the many articles I read while researching the Peregrine.


So now that I know WHAT I want to paint, it's time to figure out how I want it to look.  Are there other elements I want to include?  Is there a non-stereotypical way I want to portray my subject or do I want to create a more familiar image?  It's all about looking through many, many references for colors, poses, atmosphere, and backgrounds and eventually it all comes together.  Often I take bits and pieces from several separate images to create my composition, below are just SOME of the photos I used as reference for "Morning Huddle" my painting of a group of Black Capped Chickadee's.  All are cropped from royalty free photos.



If I intend to paint my translation of someone else's work, say a photographers photo, I have to reach out to that photographer to get their permission to do so, and yes, I ALWAYS get permission when necessary, I would NEVER plagiarize another artist work. 

Once all that is done, it's time to finally sit down with pencil and paper and put it all together! In my next post I will feature the next steps in which I will share actual progress photo's and videos!


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