Anatomy of a Painting

I recently completed a series of paintings collectively titled 'Vintage Romance'. (Prints of the paintings are now available here on my website and in my Etsy shop.)

I thought it might be fun to share the process of how I created these designs with you. The response to the images has been wonderful and I've received a lot of questions about the images. Some people thought the images were vintage clipart designs. They are not - the are original paintings. BUT they are indeed inspired by classic Victorian clip art (some more heavily then others) I'm so glad that I achieved the "look" I was going for! Thanks for the compliments!

Many people have assumed the paintings are digital. They are not. While I do paint digitally often, I also remain an active "traditional" artist. Honestly these days it seems like the minute you dabble with digital painting at all, everyone suddenly casts you as solely a "digital artist"! It's strange! Rest assured my first loves as mediums continue to be graphite, silverpoint and alkyd oils. That said I am forever grateful to the assistance that my graphic experience affords me as an artist. Every piece I create still has a computer involved at some point. Whether I use it simply to sketch out ideas, research reference, or to tweak a final scan, the computer is an essential part of my creation process!

Here's a bit of a peek into the workflow that went into creating these "traditional" paintings. ;)

This image shows the original thumbnail idea sketch in the upper left, and the concept sketch based off of it. The thumbnail sketch was graphite, while the digital sketch was drawn in Corel Painter. I used an oval template to help with the composition of the design because I knew these images main purpose was for my Perfume Locket line. I wanted to be sure that the design flowed well within the oval. Additionally I made sure I worked small. About 3"x4". The reason for this small format is because the final product (Perfume Lockets), is only 1"x1.5". It would be silly to paint this piece overlarge - only to shrink it down so drastically. There is no point wasting time painting minute details if they won't be seen in the finished product!

The next step in the process was to draw the image in graphite on paper. I chose a toned paper with a slight texture and used a light box to transfer my concept to the paper. Then I completed the piece as a finely shaded graphite drawing. I scanned this image into the computer. This scanned image served two purposes. One, it gave me a simple drawing from which to create a vintage style sepia toned print.  And two, it served as the basis for the full color acrylic painting....

 

To create the acrylic painting I printed a copy of the graphite scan. I mounted the grayscale print of the Bee to illustration board. I then sealed the print with clear acrylic matte medium. I painted the piece in acrylics (Golden Fluid Acrylics) and then it was complete! Er....not quite....

 

I decided to change the background color of the piece at the last minute. I've been on a "Robin's Egg Blue" kick lately and I just couldn't resist. I felt the new background color really made the Bee pop, and finally the piece was finished. Time for the final scan!

This technique, painting over a print of an original graphite drawing, rather then the drawing itself, has the advantage of leaving me with TWO originals. I love that!

I used the scans of both the graphite drawing and the full color painting to create the images for the perfume lockets. Thanks to the techniques I employed, the result is a bright image with a tight composition that looks tailored to the products it graces. Which it was! ;) Yay!

Sepia Toned ImageFull Color ImageIf you like these images they are available as Prints, Perfume Lockets and coming soon NoteCards!

In fact this week only you can enter a giveaway for a chance to win a Secret Scents™ Perfume Locket of your choice. The giveway is on Facebook & you'll have to "like" our fanpage to enter. So I apologize if - like me - you hate Facebook. But hey, maybe you'll win a free locket! ;) CLICK HERE to enter.

Until next time...

Cheers!

>>--Brigid-->