As committed earlier in my post under ‘Trongsa Dzong Painting’, let me briefly outline the process that I usually follow in starting with any painting – be it landscape or portrait.
Generally speaking each artist would have their own way of starting a painting project. In fact there won’t have any uniform practices of art processes among the artists just as we all think and act differently.
Some professional artists might directly sketch the drawings on canvas and start painting simultaneously; some not-so-professional ones might first draw and sketch the subject on canvas before any color is painted; and some others who are just a beginner might even use a tracing paper to copy down the elements of subject on canvas.
Even I too used to do draw the picture on canvas using tracing paper long before. It was as simple as that. But now this practice has been discontinued as it is no longer feasible especially when you are doing a large sized painting and when the image needs to be enlarged to fit with the canvas size.
Here are the steps that I usually adopt in starting any new paintings:
Step 1: Whenever I come across a high resolution picture to be painted I first create a grid design in adobe photoshop. Anybody who is interested in working with grid design in photoshop can visit this weblink hereSteve Patterson Steve Patterson. Steve Patterson who is the author has given an explicit step-by-step tutorial on how to create a colorized grid design.
Step 3: Next comes the marking of numbers 0, 1, 2, 3 and so on in each lines of the grid both horizontally and vertically as shown below:
Step 4: Then the same number of square grid lines as seen in the picture is drawn on to the canvas. Of course area of the square grids may have to be enlarged depending upon your canvas size.
Step 5: Next, all elements, objects and shapes of the picture are copied down on the canvas with a pencil strictly corresponding to the same numbered grids where they are located in the sample.
The drawing of sample image on canvas using grid design is a tedious task. One needs to have patience. There is no hurry to rush up your work as the initial drawing is often the foundation of any painting project. The greater the efforts put, the better will be your drawing.
The grid method of drawing gives you added advantage in portraits as it helps you sketch a replica of the sample figure with fullest accuracy of all elements such as eyes, ears, nose, mouth and other shapes of the portrait. I would highly recommend this method to be adopted if anybody is interested to take up portrait art.
Step 6: The final process is painting or coloring the subject – which again involves several stages of processes entailing specific skills, techniques and knowledge of the artist. Basic knowledge of color and its properties (hue, tint, shade, tone, saturation, light and dark etc), color wheel and color mixing is prerequisite for any artist to embark on a painting project.
I usually paint the basic shapes and layout of the painting first in acrylics as acrylics dry very fast within few minutes. Thereafter oil colors are used to blend, adjust, or refine each elements of the painting composition just as they are in the sample (for portraits and Dzongs) or in the way I want to project to the viewers in case of scenery.
As we are living in the 'flat world' where technology is fast expanding, I am making optimum use of my PC for all grid design, editing and referencing of the sample pictures for painting. Just as brushes and colors are essential components of painting, so are my desktop and laptop which have become indispensable tools without which I cannot imagine to paint.
Though the art of painting is not an easy task as some experts have even quoted, “Painting is EASY when you don’t know how, but very DIFFICULT when you do”, I firmly believe that so long as one has the interest, will and determination to practice art, there is nothing that is impossible. Everyone can paint to become an artist! So friends, why not give a try?