My Process

Mixed media is a fascinating process to paint in and I find that every time I start a painting, I am gently drawn in by what I will do next and where the painting will take me.

Over the years I have found a process that can be quite involved but suits my steady artist’s temperament. I once thought I was not ‘a sketch’ person because every time an art teacher said to do quick sketches every day, my art sketch book looked dreadful, and I just felt so frustrated I would give up until the next art teacher said the same thing. I would try again and once more give up frustrated with what I was producing. Nothing more frustrating to an artist to than to turn out ‘rubbish’!

Finally, I did an art course where I found out that instead of doing quick sketches, I am actually a steady, slow sketcher. I found that I loved the drawing process after all! Now I take my time and sketch the whole thing completely, in proportion, and in values that are consistent with my finished painting.

If I am doing a painted background, for instance when painting a floral, I start with abstract acrylic marks and washes to provide a background for my drawing. If I am going to be doing a Buddha that has a mandala in the background, I draw it up in pencil first then use inks as a first wash layer. Other wash layers are added over the days to enhance the look until I am happy, I have what I am searching for.

Once I have the background and have drawn up my source material I then move into charcoal or pastels fleshing out the design of the painting.

When I am happy with the look of the pastel or charcoal work I move on to the next stage with paints. If I feel the need I will paint in acrylic for a while and then switch to oil paints as I find oil paint adds that beautiful, luscious finish I am looking for. Once that has dried it is time for signing and varnish. Quite a time-consuming process with all the layers and different mediums but I feel it is worth the time and work I put into the artworks. No more frustration!