Lately I’ve been enjoying a rosy little romance with a new method for working out the details of a painting. Sometimes I get to a certain involvement with a piece, but then get stymied and don’t know how to proceed next. It’s like a form of stage fright, where I freeze up and can’t commit to doing anymore on the art. Will I wreck it if I do this? or that? Gah!
What I used to do when that happened, was take a photo, bring it into Photoshop and play around with it on the computer, stress-free. That undo command is great!
Recently, though, I’ve begun to explore some of the painting apps on my iPad. It’s so much quicker to take a photo with my iPhone, import it into one of the painting apps and play away. I like it better than Photoshop because I’m actually working on the surface of the iPad and therefore the painting rather than using the computer mouse on the desk and watching the cursor on the computer screen. There’s a disconnect when working on the computer that makes it less satisfying than the iPad.
In a future blogpost I’m going to discuss the painting apps I’ve tried, but for today, I thought I’d share how I used this method to come up with one of my recent paintings.
Here’s Rosy Romance, at the “deer in the headlights” stage. What to do next?
I took a photo, brought it into my painting app and tried a few ideas. I’m rather enamoured of the negative painting technique right now, where I imagine what the art wants to be, then paint a background around the imagined shapes to create a design. Here I’ve got three ideas, from left to right, with the one I liked best on the right.
Next I drew the design on the painting, using a lighter-coloured oil stick for the initial drawing, then a darker colour when I was confident of the composition.
Then I negatively painted around my design with burgundy oil paint.
And the finished piece.
I’m spending a lot of time on my iPad lately and not as much in my sketchbook. But it’s all art, and all good, right? As some of you may be aware, Apple just came out with a new, larger iPad, the iPad Pro. There’s a fabulous Apple Pencil that makes it feel like you’re working on real paper, with pressure-sensitivity and shading, or so I’ve read. They’re not available quite yet. Am I lining up to get one? You betcha!