This is how I start a new painting. I’ve tried various methods over the years but similarly to my freestyle painting technique, I really feel it comes down to this: if you’re a good artist, if you can trust your abilities, then go for it.
For portraits, proportions are much more important so I wouldn’t want to jump straight into a blank canvas. Instead I used the familiar grid technique I’ve used so many times before. You divide your sketch into various sections, halves and then quarters for example, then add the corresponding gridlines to your canvas. Now, in the past I’ve spent a while with a ruler and made it precise, but the fact is that those gridlines are for you alone. It doesn’t have to be exact so save yourself some time and give yourself the minimum guidance you need. I free handed my guidelines and feel satisfied that it’s given me everything I needed.
Here is my top tip for ditching pencil and ruler when scaling up.
- Choose a pale colour paint which matches your colour scheme.
- Thin it down with a medium, not water!
- Once you’ve drawn a line run your finger over it to avoid leaving a texture on your canvas.
- Use the same thinned paint to start adding the details of your painting. Don’t allow your paint to become too thick.
- and finally… trust yourself!
So my wolf has hit the streets of Wolverhampton in all it’s glorious colour! I’m so proud to be able to share my full wolf as the colour truely transforms the whole design. My wolf is not just a story of creatures in trees as the colours have their own story to tell. I wanted to give the impression of a sunset slipping quietly beneath it’s feet and the full moon rising behind as I think it’s the most tranquil and beautiful part of the day. I also wanted it to be bright and colourful so that it really captures peoples attention when they walk passed. Public art should captivate, excite and hopefully inspire people. It doesn’t matter what brings you joy in life but I hope anyone visiting my wolf leaves inspired to connect with their joy; and even better maybe get out into nature, plant something new in the garden, or just find a green space to sit in and enjoy the wildlife.
Art can help you connect with all sorts of feelings and emotions, and there is an alternative way of viewing my wolf which I can offer you. How about this? Instead of a sunset perhaps the sun is rising as it’s feet, and the moon is quietly disappearing into the blue of a new day. What do you see in the colours and how does it make you feel?
I’m now in the home stretch of completing my wolf for Wolves in Wolves and have moved onto adding the colour this week. In order to keep up maximum interest for the grand unveiling at Wolverhampton City Centre, I will be keeping the colour of my wolf under wraps! You’ve all seen the original design so you have an idea of the end result but even I’m amazed by how different it looks large scale. I’m just staggered by the effect of the flat bodies of colour against the stark black and white trees. I really hope as many of you as possible will venture out to see it and would love it if you could take a selfie or two to share with me. Throughout this whole process I’ve really been focussed on how my wolf will make people feel and wondering what the public will think about my contribution to this massive project. I’m also going to give my wolf it’s very own page on my website. Keep your eye on the blog in the next few days for those updates and the closing pictures of my wolf story.
For now here’s the first black and white teaser of my wolf’s feet!