I rarely post about the commissioned pieces I work on. But this triptych was so much fun, and I learnt so much from it, that I had to share it.
I usually work small: an 8×10 or 11×14 inch piece is as large as I work. So when I got asked to work on a set of 3 18×24 inch pieces, I did wonder about what it would take to work that large yet keep the loose lines and mixed-on-paper washes of my smaller works. But I was also excited at the possibility of working outside my comfort zone, trying something I wouldn’t normally try.
On the left are the colors I decided to use for my twilight sky. On the right, my first piece, edged with frisket, just before I painted in the sky.
It’s hard to see the detail on pieces this big, but I’ve tried to compare bits of the image I shot as I went along so you can see how I built it up. The two images in each of these sets aren’t an exact match, but they’re from (sort of) the same area of the painting, shot at different stages along the process.
I started with a pretty strong first wash of color over my linework. Usually, all my color goes in in one wet-in-wet wash with very little added later, but with a piece this big, I did add in a second wash for depth. I tried to work wet-in-wet as much as possible and did as much of my mixing on paper as I could, which was quite challenging at this scale. Why? Because allowing colors to mix on paper allows for happy accidents, surprises and granulated puddles of color, all of which I love. At the very end, I added highlights with a white pencil (for subtler bits) and gel pen for stronger lines.
And finally, here they are, the set of 3 pieces that shipped off yesterday to their new home.
If you are interested in an original piece of art, I’m always happy to talk to you. You can always contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org