Some of my students have been asking me about my creative process. Since I am about to begin teaching a new online class I thought writing a post about my preliminary procedures would help students of my unique "fearless" methods get started. If you know me, you know that my inspirational techniques begin with an adventurous paint pouring process similar to the techniques used by the artists Helen Frankenthaler or Jackson Pollock.
My creativity begins with a series of adventurous watercolor pours, but my work has entirely different style. In the pouring process that I use, there is a lot of splashing, dribbling and generally making a big fun mess which allows me to mingle colorful washes with passion and imagination resulting in what I call “Fearless” painting.” Some of my work is abstract and some is quite representational.
If you have visited my art galleries you will see that my subject matter is a mixture of inspiration, photography and paint which cause a fusion of representation and abstraction.
In the artwork shown above, "Reaching for the Wind" © is an abstract painting but with a representational marine themed twist. A lot of my art begins with the photos that I take in my journeys, even if the finished art is somewhat abstract.
In all of my work, I still enjoy beginning with what I call a road map. I like to make as many choices about what and how I am going to paint prior to allowing my paints to hit the surface of my paper or canvas. When I am creating a representational painting, like of the 1952 Caddilac below, I must be very exact as to the placement of subject and background. This requires drawing skills.
These types of realistic works require me to create a complete drawing of the image to be painted. In my work, I project my ideas onto either my watercolor paper or canvas using an opaque projector. I spend a lot of time paying close attention to the details required to make my visual statements and the projection process is just one step of many in the my creative process.
Let's begin with a little history. There are many different methods of transferring an image to one's painting surface,using projection is just one that has a long history. We know that as far back as the Renaissance, Artists have used photographic projectors, similar to the one I currently use, like the "Camera Obscura" or "Camara Lucida". The 15th century German artist Albrecht Durer used a plate of glass and a grid to help him realize the correct lines for perspective drawing, as you can see in the artist's etching.
In the 19th century the French artist Edgar Degas was both familiar with the early methods of photography but also utilized elements of photography to help him understand the movements of the dancers and race horses that he painted.
There are many other graphic artist tricks of the trade used by artist to facilitate the copying of lines, shapes and forms. One convenient tool is to use a graphite transfer paper. In my copying process , I recommend and use a product called Seral Transfer paper, which is available at most quality art supply retailers.
As a teacher and person who works to inspire others to be fearless artists, I try to simplify my methods so that anyone can enjoy their own creative process. I know that sometimes availability of a product is not possible,therefore adaptation is required. Recently, I created a short video to assist my students with a method of making one's own copying paper. This method will allow beginner artists to use and copy their favorite photos for their painting inspiration.
For this project the materials that will be used for an 8 x 10 canvas or watercolor paper are:
1 sheet of white 8.5 x 11 paper ( or match the size of your paper to the size you want your painting to be.)
1 soft carbon pencil like a 3B or 4 B
1 photo of choice
1 painting surface such as watercolor paper or a canvas
Now let's watch a short video:
If the video does not open, please click here to go to my Youtube video about how to make your own transfer copying paper
I hope this short tutorial helps you get started drafting out and creating your own masterpiece. In my next post, I will be sharing a new video and writing about the methods I used in creating the small demo painting ( shown below) done for one of my classes.
Until next time,Stay well my creative friends,
April , day whatever, and we are all at home wondering what to do! Well let's do something together as a family.
Let's make some art!
Following is a lesson plan to inspire other's to be creative. Any age person can follow these steps and make something beautiful. Now follow me as I show you the steps to make your own painted bouquet of flowers,
the easy and fearless way!
The materials that you will use:
1 piece of watercolor paper any size. I recommend 140 lb cold press watercolor paper. Strathmore makes and sells pads of this type of paper.
Some watercolor paints in your favorite colors:
reds, oranges, yellows, greens, blues, purples
a cup of water to clean your brushes and thin your paint.
a palette or a white plastic or foam plate to use as your palette.
You may also want to grab a bottle with a spray top on it, also.
Did I mention you will need a couple of brushes. I like to use round and flat brushes in assorted sizes.
If you do not have any brushes try using Q-tips and yes, you can even paint with your fingers! Anything works to make painterly marks.
Two ways to approach creating a wet paper surface.
1) Spritz your paper with a water bottle with sprayer.
2) Or using one of your large flat or round brushes, dip your largest brush into a jar of clean water and then stroke your brush over the entire piece of watercolor paper, until it is wet.
Make sure that your whole page is completely covered with clean water and there are no dry spots. If you can see dry areas, just wet down the paper some more. It's easy!
Now let's mix up some paint. On your palette or plate, make a puddle of water in an open area and drop your favorite color of paint into this puddle and mix. You can use one color like a yellow, like I have shown in the photo or mix two favorites such as red and yellow to make an beautiful orange color.
Next up it's time to paint like a pro. Using your favorite painting tool : a brush, your Qtips or even your fingers dipped into your paint, create a swirl or a circular flower form by dropping the paint onto your WET paper.
Note: If your paper has dried spritz the paper with fresh water.
Continue to add other colors in "flower" type shapes like swirls, long stripes, circles with small "petal" shapes around the outside, just like I am in the photos.
Use your imagination and just have fun dropping color onto your wet paper surface. Remember to let the paint have enough time to spread across the surface in anyway that the wet paint on wet paper wants to.
STEP 4: It's time to give our flowers some detail.
First off let your paper dry and when dry then you can....
begin by picking a color of choice and outlining a few of your favorite flowers shapes with a couple of simple strokes around the area of paint.
In the my next pictures you can see....
Painting #1 I just painted flowers in an abstract bunch
and in ....
Painting #2 I have added a vase for my flowers to stand in.
Remember when you choose to paint fearlessly, you paint it your way!
This exercise was about relaxing, spreading paint and enjoying sometime with whomever you are with. I hope that you have had as much fun as I did painting loosely using just bright colors on wet paper?
Keep practicing painting what we call wet (paint) onto wet(paper surface) and each time you give this technique a try it will get easier and easier!
YOUR GOAL IS TO SPEND SOME TIME JUST HAVING SOME FUN!
Please check back soon, I will have another fearless painting step by step demo for you to try. In the mean time.....
Stay well and stay creative, my friends!
My name is Elise Beattie and they call me the Fearless Artist. I paint, I teach and I promote all aspects of the arts. In this new blog site you will find a variety of creative posts dedicated to sharing knowledge about my fearless art techniques and the materials that I use. You will also be able to learn about my art classes and see photos of my newest art and the exhibitions that my work is displayed in.