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Painting Process

Painting process for Western Art by Patrick Landes

On this page I propose to demonstrate how to build a painting. Being self taught I am sure there are many other ways to achieve the same ends but for me, this is what works.

The idea, as previously stated, comes from an event or exercise I have sometimes been told about but more often witnessed or participated in.
If a photographic reference is used, it is for a specific skyline only.

1. That said I first start with a very rough sketch on scrap paper. This is to work out a rough sense scale, proportion, body movement and overall composition. Most of this is in my head long before I get this far.


2. Next I transfer the idea on to a commercially prepared canvas, previously covered with a heavy wash of usually burnt umber and raw sienna, by redrawing the idea in charcoal.


3. Blocking in the figures and main elements of the landscape follows this. At this point I also begin to look at smears of paint to show me where to go with vegetation, cloud formations, water reflections, topography and back-up figures.


4. From now to completion, it is a matter of refinement of the subject elements and tightening up on the detail. I do this as much by painting into the subject as by painting the subject itself.


5. Steps five is to look hard and long at the picture and decide if there are to be any further additions or deletions.

6. The final step is a matter of putting the work aside for a couple of weeks, for mental fermentation by the author, prior to any last touch up.