View Full Version : What brings you the most success?

12-17-2015, 06:23 PM
(also posted in drawing, oils, watercolor)

When you start a new project, do you have a consistent process of steps you perform to try to increase the odds of it being a success or do you go straight from idea or reference photograph to final art?

Either way, are there particular problems you often encounter?


12-17-2015, 09:53 PM
Hi Gary. A moderator will probably move this thread to Pastel Talk section, as this is where we "talk". Pastel Studio and Gallery is for sharing artwork.

As for your question...if I have a good reference that I want to make a "finished" painting worthy of selling or showing.... I will make some crude sketches to work our composition and placement of things, as well as just the idea im trying to convey. Also several versions of a quick thumbnail value map to work out dark, midvalue, and light shapes within the painting. This is important for more complex paintings.

More simple paintings, like simple landscapes, I may make quick sketch directly on painting surface to locate placement of things with pastel pencil and just dive in and paint

12-18-2015, 02:55 PM
I asked the question about do you have a process you use to increase the odds of success when you start a new project because of something I've noticed among many of my blog subscribers. Many aspiring artists don't seem to establish a set of steps that they go through each time they create art. They often jump straight from a photo they like to trying to paint the photograph and then run into trouble because a photograph doesn't automatically arrange itself into a good design.

For instance, the process that I've found works for me is I will use a photograph as a starting point only. Almost always I will do small tonal sketches like the one below to change the photo and try to figure out a design I think will work.
Within that design I try to establish where my darkest and lightest values will be to create path that leads the viewer's eyes throughout the art.

A graphic designer friend of mine does line sketches until he finds an idea and design he likes. Then he does a small colored pencil sketch of it to establish a general color scheme before he begins to paint.

I was wondering what process or method, if any, other people of all levels use when they create art.