My painting creation process
This is a fairly simple topic that I am gonna write about today, I simply want to share my process of how I create a painting.
First of all, my painting style is pretty illustrative, that means that most of the times I want to materialize or portray an idea or a memory or a picture in my head. I know that some people paint only from photographs, some only from real life and some do something like I do. I really admire those who practice from photos and real life and really study it, and maybe it´s something I will do in the future. I do sometimes paint just from one photograph but it isn´t that common. I would also paint from real life if I had the conditions for it. But as you probably know, I like fjords and glaciers and pine forests and huts, which are not anywhere near my house. However, I live on the edge of a town where there is forest, luckily. I may show you around now a little bit. I was pretty lucky with where I live. I thank the Universe that it didn´t put me in the middle of the town or a city, because I simply wouldn´t be able to emotionally handle it. I guess that comes together with being a fan of natural landscapes.
1. The experience
So, how does it happen? Maybe some of you think that my painting would start when I first put my brush on the canvas. But that´s not the case. The start of a painting goes way back in time. It goes way back in time to the point when I experienced smething with my eyes, with my ears, with my nose. When I was a child, had a bit different and a lighter perspective on life. And I saw these monumental mountains, I walked that path, I entered that cabin, I walked among the small birches leaning towards my ears with their whispy sounds. That was when I was a kid and I was on a vacation in Norway, several times. This left some pools of emotions in me that are so beautiful it´s hard to describe. When I find them, I like to swim in them.
2. The spontaneous mind processing
However, even though that experience is the core of my inspiration, I process other experiences too. I process something if I see a particularly beautiful cover of a CD, an item of clothing that reminds me of something, listening to a song, seeing the artworks of other artists, or even random photos of nature on Instagram. These experiences are somehow saved in my subconscious mind. I don´t really know how it works. And then, usually when I am listening to a song, when I am in a shower or having a meditative moment with myself, the image suddenly appears in my mind. It´s a new image that came out as a result of all these things that I have witnessed. Sometimes I feel like my mind is a computer. What do you think? What thing would you call your mind, if you could choose only one thing?
The strange thing is, that even if my mind processes just one image of a memory, when it´s processed, it´s even more beautiful than the original expeience itself. It´s like when a painter paints a landscape in front of him and now it´s even more beautiful, somehow…fairytaly. I say that every objects gets charged with something. It´s not electricity though. Do you know what it is? I won´t tell you. Or I will, it´s aliveness and magic. It feels like the things want to stand up and talk to you. And they are talking to you in an invisible way, and that´s why you are having that strong feeling.
It becomes a world of it´s own, it´s no longer just a place on Earth. It´s a different reality. A reality where things not only communicate with you, but where you feel yourself becoming a part of them, a part of the landscape. It folds on you and takes you in.
3. Paper sketch
At this point, when the inspiration is flowing, I take out a paper and a pencil and as I am imagining this place, I draw out the simple idea of it. It´s usually just simple lines and maybe it looks a bit like a kid´s drawing. I have a pretty fair collection of them, as you can see here. I keep them here so I can drag them at any time and continue the process without ever forgetting about them.
4. Find the reference pictures
Now, we are coming out of the dreamy part and we are rolling up our sleeves to start working. My places for finding pictures include google search including using google lens, insragram search, and my own or my parent´s photos. I find this to be really challenging, because I often search for very specifically looking things and if i don´t get them, I am upset. You know, when you´re looking for this mildly steep looking forest with ferns and at this one angle? It´s simply hard to find. I also often struggle with the lighting of the items or objects, as they all come from different images, and it´s challenging to make them look coherent together as one picture. Do you experience the same struggle?
5. Blocking in simple shapes of colour
I always start by blocking in colours and shapes very simply, because I often change or adjust them after that. I do Thispart with a big brush and with acrylic paint, which dries quickly and isn´t as expensive.
6. Diving into details
Now I take a small brush and i start observing the reference photos closely and painting what I see. I often don´t paint all details in one layer. I put on several coats for a more definedand crispy and interesting looking result.
7. Signing my work
I like to sign my Works, it´s like putting that final mark on it and feeling proud of it.
8. Give it a name
I love giving my paintings names, as it enhances their magic and brings out the poetic quality of them. I usually do it by feeling what I feel from this painting and then I catch some words for myself and put them on a paper.
This is when the painting is finished and I proceed to photograph it, edit it and post it on my Instagram and my website.
I hope that this small article inspired you or led you to some interesting thoughts and an idea that we all have different processes. Maybe you would like to take something out of this into your own process, that woud be so great! You can also watch this as a video on my youtube channel.
Thank you for reading!