“Process” of painting ‘audacity of hope’

audacity of hope - process step 1 As part of my efforts to not just write and paint full time, but to actually get my work out in front of people, visible to the world, and hopefully engage people’s interest, I am going to try to document my “process”… Whatever that means. In this case, it means that I have taken a series of photographs of the painting I created this week, ‘audacity of hope’, showing each step along the way from basic background to completed painting.

You may have seen the first image, which I posted Monday night, which is pretty basic. I painted a simple, nearly cartoonish background. Blue sky, green hills, using the style I’ve been developing for creating interesting, dynamic backgrounds. This, in itself, is pretty straightforward: big, soft brush, lots of water, usually just one color and white – though sometimes I’ve used multiple colors, and often I’ll pre-create the hue I want from multiple inputs – this time I wanted a pretty basic palette, so I used the pure blue and green that Utrecht gave me. That was actually all I did with the painting on Monday.

audacity of hope - process step 2Tuesday, it was time to begin the real work, so I booted up Photoshop and iPhoto, and got down to the digital part of the project. I took the photo from the previous day, and adjusted the image to “pop” the painting itself out of its background and into square, plus appropriately proportioned for the actual canvas size, as pictured at the right. This itself is a pretty straightforward thing to do, as long as you keep in mind that you don’t want PS to be creating any new information about your image – which is to say that all dimensions should stay the same or get smaller, never bigger. After this step, I cropped down so I was only working with the canvas, and then switched to iPhoto to find my “reference material”.

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First real day of MEP full time

So, today was my first real, full day of running Modern Evil Press full-time. Mandy had last week off for Spring Break (she teaches High School, remember), so I worked on and off and tried to use the week and half between leaving ICE and today to transition myself mentally and emotionally for this. I worked on putting together a semblance of plans and goals and … I don’t know, action-item lists… Is that what they call To Do Lists these days? Trying to have some idea of how to go from where I’m at to making money from my books and my art, so I’m not merely floundering. The general day-to-day plan, for time-management sake, is to get up with Mandy and work (at least) as long as she’s working. So, M-F, 6:30AM to 4:30PM.

Art in progress, 3/23/08So to get off to a good start, I started with a painting. I’ve been meaning to document my “process” better, so I also took a quick shot of the first coat of paint with my iPhone and threw it up on flickr (thumbnail at right). It’s a sort of a landscape right now. The image I’m planning for this background, which I will now describe as a “…monster with a robot head…” is not what it sounds like. Maybe I’ll post some more images tomorrow, when I’m working (digitally, of course) on adapting the sketch for the canvas. I sortof jumped the gun on the composition of the background without doing proper previsualization, but it’s no problem to work the elements together on the computer screen before I apply any more paint.

Ooh, thinking of it, I actually took a photo of another painting first, while the sun was still quite low. It’s one of four paintings I finished last year that I’ve only just put on wretched creature: ‘what… and why?’ was today’s photo, and I’ve been working on getting ‘it’s the internet…’, ‘without you’, and a (currently) untitled one with a face … Okay, admittedly, when I finished it I had a name for it, and I didn’t write it down or put it on the site right away, so … I can’t remember it right now. I’ll update it later, in the event I can recall the full name.

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