Saturday, July 21, 2012

Inside The Studio - the creative process

Originally posted on my creative team's blog, Corporate Rejects, handmade detail not corporate retail, on July 10th, 2012.

I've been working on a new piece for the last week and, since my most asked question is about how I make my paintings, I thought I'd share my process with you thus far.

Inspiration for my paintings comes from all kinds of things.  Sometimes inspiration comes from a joke or some bit of irony I've noticed.  Sometimes it comes from other art - in this case, from some song lyrics by Neil Peart. (Specifically, the first line - "I've got my own moral compass to steer by.")

I started working out the image of my "moral compass" using one of my favorite subjects, an anatomical heart.
First attempt (graphite and soft pastels) with song lyrics are on the left side for easy reference
Sketch #2 (graphite).  I like the compass better, but it overwhelmed the heart
Sketch #3 (graphite, soft pastel and charcoal) was almost what I wanted.
I decided to add the central circle from the compass back in to the final drawing
Once I have either a drawing in my sketchbook or the idea set in my head, I trace or freehand it onto a wood panel.  I decided not to do another version in my sketchbook for this one and went straight to the wood panel.

Final idea freehanded (with a lot of measurements and a straight edge)
in graphite onto a 20x24" cradled wood panel
Once the central image is sketched out, I decide on colors and secondary images for placement around the canvas or layering with glazes.
Cereus (cactus) flower inspired by lyric
"Like a flower in the desert that only blooms at night / I will quietly resist"
Woodburned outlines on wood panel
Then the fun part starts: COLOR!

First layer of color on the heart, flowers and background

Some shading on the heart; compass points with background colors
and gold/silver/copper leaf being applied
More shading done on the heart and flowers; gold/silver/copper leaf applied and sealed
And that's as far as I've gotten.  For those of you who have seen my paintings, you know I like to add image transfers (using various techniques) between layers of gel medium and glazes.  If that's what you're hoping to see here, you won't be disappointed with this painting.  You'll just have to wait for my next post!

In the meantime, for those of you who are interested, here is the inspiration song, Faithless, by Rush.

Krissi Sandvik is the artist and owner of Krissi's Art Studio, home of Skelekitty and Friends in Folsom (yes, like the prison) California, where she resides with her husband, cats, tortoise and Jack Russell Terrier, Abby. Krissi, who claims she was raised by feral attorneys, has been unofficially named "best tutorialer on the web" by her friend Rachelle Rose. Oh yeah, and she likes to drive fast.