Monday, December 11, 2006

Killer on the Road

This is a sketch of a painting I'm doing. I thought I would try something different and walk you through the process of how I paint. I'm not trying to teach anyone how to paint like I do, since I believe every artist should express their own view, but I might talk about some techniques along the way.

I was listening to Riders on the Storm by The Doors while I was falling asleep, and when he sang the line "there's a killer on the road" this idea popped into my head. The next day I sketched it out.

I usually sketch on anything at hand, but a cheap notebook for some reason tends to bring out my muse. I carry a notebook with me everywhere I go because you never know when an idea will hit you. All I know is that there must be some graveyard out there for lost ideas, I never seem to be able to remember them if I don't write them down within a short time.

A painting usually starts out with an idea and then I sketch it. Inspiration usually finds me when I'm in a slightly meditative state, like listening to music, sitting listening to a speaker, or about to fall asleep at night.

When I hear a song that wakes up my muse I usually put it on repeat and soak it for all it's worth. And then when I'm painting I play it again on repeat, or will make a play list for that painting with songs that seem to have a similar mood.

The next thing I do is find something to paint on that's about the right size and shape. I paint on all sorts of surfaces but I like MDF. It's an absolutely smooth board made from sawdust and glue and I can cut it into any shape I like. I like MDF since its thickness allows you to hang it without a frame.

After finding the right surface, I usually set it on my easel for a day or two while my subconscious gets comfortable with the idea of painting this idea on this board. I know that sounds weird, but if my mind isn't happy with it there's nothing I can do about it. After all of me agrees that it is the right surface for the job I'll start to paint.

(to be continued.)

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