The other week, I went through the steps I took in making a painting with no source material. Using random marks and composition, I allowed my intuition and previous painting experience to guide whatever happened next. In a similar manner I have made another example to share with you here.

random brushmarks in black

I started with paper, two tubes of acrylic paint, and I think just one smallish brush. I hit the paper with some random marks in black.

I added some greys

I decided to go grisaille at this point. Grisaille is the method of painting in black and white… and greys. You can then glaze colours on top if you so choose. I will show this process next week.

subtlety added by painting in white

I lightened everything up again by brushing in a bit of white. This added some subtlety to the greys.

time for dark paint again

Then I took my black paint and worked in some darks again. I started to see something…

becoming flowers

Using some more watery-black, I painted in some stems, some shadows in petals. The painting was becoming flowers.

bit more detail and a background

I worked in another floral shape on the right, and then watered my paint down much more. I painted in a background. This added weight to the bottom of the composition, and complexity, as well as the suggestion of other things happening.

however, as part of the process…

However, as part of the process, I opted to white-out a lot of that background. More subtlety needed!

my next step was to re-introduce some greys

Once again, I mixed up a grey and added it in, bits and pieces.

again background!

Again, I worked in dark paint to suggest weight and some sort of background. By painting in the negative-space I also emphasized the objects. Note the fine edges of white here and there: those are not painted in, rather, those were left behind when I painted in the background.

finished! For now…

Finally, I painted in some more white/light grey. Again, note the dark edge I left here and there, that was the previous step’s background being left to show through.
I plan to glaze some colour into this composition, as I feel there is still something rough about it. Colour can help cure problems within a painting. So next week… see you then!
Natasha Henderson, Montreal

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