I will show you the steps that led to the creation of the artwork titled Arizona .
I start by drawing random lines with watercolor crayons.
The firt colour is usually a dark one. Here, it’s a sepia.
I add spots of color that set the tone for the work.
The next colors are mixed directly on the canvas to produce gradients. During this step, I spray the canvas with a mist of water to keep the paint wet. In some places, I spray water jets to create drips.
I leave it to dry. During this time, I make sketches to establish the direction to give to this work. If, until now, the process was rather intuitive, the rest will be more thoughtful and methodical.
I now add organic flat shapes and decorations (dots, lines, splashes).
I finish by adding graphite and charcoal lines.
Here it is! Finished.
Pay attention to the sides
Since this work is made on a 4 cm thick gallery canvas, it can be installed on the wall without a frame. For this reason, I always pay attention to the sides while painting. I can paint them with a solid colour or in continuity with the artwork, continuing the patterns on the sides. That’s what I did here.
Varnish is often a subject of debate. Should I varnish or not? As far as I’m concerned, I don’t hesitate. The varnish protects from UV rays and dust which could become embedded in the paint. However, I do not like the high gloss varnish. That’s why I opt for a varnish with a satin finish like that of Liquitex. I apply two coats.
Here are the colours that I used to make this artwork.
It’s always exciting to start a new canvas. But it’s also scary. Especially when I paint abstract works of expressive or intuitive style. I don’t really know what I want to paint. The only thing I feel is this need to create. Some would say, no problem since it is an expressive work. But no. Some writers have white page syndrome, I have white canvas syndrome.
Since we have to start somewhere, let’s go. I deposit the paint directly from the tubes on the white canvas. I choose two or three colors that I spread and mix on the canvas using brushes, paint knives and rubber spatulas. I work on colors and textures until my canvas is fully covered. While the paint is still fresh, I make marks in it with a bamboo point, then I take a break. These first colors sometimes disappear almost entirely in the further steps.
Colors used in step 1.
Let’s clear this up now. I add warm colors. I really like the warm colors. I use them in all my paintings. I regularly spray water on the canvas to create gradients. It’s another thing that I like. As we can see, there is not much left of the blue from step 1. Another pause while the paint dries.
Colors used in step 2.
deep cadmium yellow
It lacks white and green. Pale green, and warm too. I leave the white flow on the canvas. I work with diluted colors because I regularly spray the canvas. That leaves as showing the colors of lower layers. I use a brush with stiff bristles to achieve the gradients. And my fingers too.
Colors used in step 3.
deep cadmium yellow
I really like those colors that have emerged during the last stage. I don’t want to hide them. I add only a few details: a little contrast in certain places, projected droplets and scribbled lines. And there you go!