I love sharing with you the processes behind my paintings, my thoughts and techniques. I remember when I first started out that this was the information I was most hungry for. Techniques, processes + the emotion behind the paintings. And I hope you enjoy them too.
The Evolution of ‘Spring on a Cold Winters Day’
Like all of my canvas paintings, I find it much easier to start the painting once I have actually layered papers on the background + I always seem to do several canvases at once. This series of paintings all have the same elements included in the back ground with each one having a different whimsy element from my stash of papers.
This one has a playing card (middle left) and a chopstick cover (top right) as well as a bit of my old lettering notebook.
So after my initial sketch I decided that I needed a bit more of a connection between the girl and her unicorn. Instead of searching for hours on the internet for the right placement, I grabbed my soda stream bottle and my phone for an impromptu photo shoot!
I always start with the faces. ALWAYS. I will then flit around the painting filling in bits and pieces but the face tells me (most of the time!) who she is.
I often make changes to my paintings on the fly, it’s why a lot of the beginning sketches aren’t more detailed. When I paint on paper I am a lot more detailed in my original sketches, but canvas takes a lot more abuse + I am not afraid to make mistakes so much because I know I can gesso over any mistake!
I’ve finished mostly everything now except her hair. This is another I decision I don’t know until I’ve made it. Hair colour. Until I started with the black, I was thinking she would have white or even pink hair.
This painting is based on a sketch I made a couple of years ago and in that sketch I had the girl and her unicorn surrounded by forrest and long grasses, making it seem they were hidden from the world. But in this painting I didn’t want to completely cover the back ground. I really loved how the background was peeking through and how it added a business to the painting with out over powering it.
So I added the branches which I feel gives it the same enclosed feeling as my original sketch, with out taking over the whole painting.
The final painting. I was going to leave the branches bare, after all it is the beginning of winter here, but I was out for a walk the morning before I finished her and even though it is almost winter, there were trees with blossoms poking out.
So that is how this painting became ‘Spring on a Cold Winters Day’
She will be one of several new pieces that will be debuted at the Canberra Hand Made Markets June 6th + 7th, but if you can’t wait until then, contact me for more information. (kirstinmcculloch[at]yahoo.com.au)
I hope you enjoyed the evolution of ‘Spring on a Cold Winters Day’ – I would love to know what you think about these posts where I show you a peek behind the scenes + if you’d like more?
Have a fab weekend.