Tuesday, July 14, 2009

A painting Demo Part One

Very well worn brushes

preparing the canvas

Stage 1 preliminary painting in

I've gotten many requests into showing a bit of a painting demo as to how I achieve my "soft focus" effect in my paintings. If you're a regular to my blog you may remember this post from last year where I showed you one painting from start to finish. I find demos awkward to write up as much of how I paint is intuitive and when I get "in the zone" I find it hard to stop and take photos. I think demos are best done in person when you can actually see the demonstrator doing their thing. I've always loved the idea of doing workshops at a beautiful resort-hhmmmm, perhaps that's in my future at some point?

I generally start with a pre-primed canvas and paint it with a warm base coat, usually red oxide. Then I "sketch" in the darks with thinned acrylic paint and one of my favorite "scraggy" brushes. To achieve my soft focus effect the most important thing for me is having the right brush. I buy very inexpensive brushes and wear them in until I get them just right. The more uneven the edges become the better they are for softening the edges. A combination of dry brushing and many layers of coloralso helps to soften the edges.

Stay tuned for the rest of this demo. I'm in studio this week working on new paintings for this upcoming show and I've got my camera right by my side, ready to shoot as I paint.