In the Beginning …the blank canvas



This used to be the hardest part of the painting process for me, staring at that blank canvas.

I have some thoughts in my head about a great painting, but the minute I put a brushstroke on the canvas, reality sets in, can I really make those ideas a reality?

My solution to this has been what I call my “predictable start.” It’s a way of easing into the painting without a lot of decision making while having a little more fun.


The first step is a simple pencil sketch of the dark and light shapes and how I’m going to organize them in the painting.  This is kind of a bridge between the reference material and the painting.
Next I choose a color to represent the darks and block in those shapes on the canvas, doesn’t matter what color, sometimes the right thing painted over the wrong thing can be very exciting so any color will do.
This is where I wanted to be with my start. The canvas broken up into simple value shapes, now I’ve got something solid to work into. I’ll let this dry, look at it a little bit, come back tomorrow and start painting.



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