I often get ask, "how long did it take you to paint this" as a prospective customer stands and stares at a painting with me and contemplates? As I start explaining the process, from when it first becomes an idea to the final product, I see their eyes glaze over as I drone on about each step involved. You see, no one truly understands all that it takes to come up with the finished and perfected final ending! What they really want to decide is if the beauty they see before them is worth the price? Does it please them? Does it make them feel something? Does it bring memories to the forefront? Does it cause an emotion to develop? Well, I personally can guarantee you, it's worth the price!
Dare I compare with a food analogy of all things?! When you go out to eat at a restaurant, you browse the many options on the menu, deciding what your taste buds are looking for and how much you're willing to pay. You place the order, and the plate is delivered with your choice laid out in front of you in beautiful fashion like eye candy! You dive in and enjoy before your mouth starts drooling all over the table. Did you care or want to know from start to finish exactly how much was involved and how that plate of food came to be sitting in front of you, from the farmer to the wholesaler to the buyer to the cook to the server? No, not really, you are enjoying the final result, as it well should be! You came to eat, and you came to enjoy!
Have YOU ever wondered what is involved in a painting? Well, here you have it! I do not speak for all artists, but this is a small look into My process which can vary with each painting depending on the subject matter, degree of difficulty and detailing. This painting you see "Cast the Net" took me a month from start to finish. Planning, prepping, color charting and practice... then the actual painting. The first step, finding a reference photo, either one of my own, a photo from family or friend, or while browsing on a copyright free reference site. The imagination comes into play, deciding what I like about it, how I would change it, what I can add to it to make an interesting and fun subject! Then, I plan the size I want to attempt, the colors I want to use and how detailed I want to get. I draw it out on paper, finalizing details I want to keep and the changes I want to make. I then transfer the final drawing onto the watercolor paper. I plot my colors by painting them onto scraps of paper. I practice and plot how I will tackle the painting on another scrap of paper. THEN, I dive into the real painting! Here, with "Cast the Net" I blocked off the boat as I painted 12 layers (that's right, 12 different layers) of 3 different colors in that dark water which reflects those colors when you move the painting. Each layer has to be completely dry before I move on to the next, letting that layer (and the paper) "rest" a bit after it completely dries so as not to disturb it when I laid down the next. Then, 5-8 layers of paint on various areas of the boat to create depth and vivid color. Then, the attention to all the final detail work which creates the 3d effect so the painting is not "flat".
And there you have it!!