Wednesday, October 7, 2015

My Thought Process Behind the Creation of “Reflection”

I am sometimes asked to illustrate the stages that I go through in creating a painting and lay out my thinking process as it develops. I will try to briefly explain my creative thought process for my studio painting, Reflection.

I first stare at a blank canvas in terror --- EEEK!!!!
Just kidding! I usually come to the canvas with a composition in mind and maybe a few reference photos. Then I lightly and quickly sketch the horizon line and any major features in the painting. I don't like to delay since the energy is flowing --- so I quickly get into painting. I usually begin with the sky. For me the sky sets the mood of the painting; especially in a sunset. I lay in some basic shapes and colors and adjust them to my liking.

After a few rounds of creating a basic sky, I move to the ground or in this case, water. My intention was to capture the reflection of the sun and sky on the calm harbor water so I laid down some basic colors, which will be adjusted later.

I actually enjoy experimenting right on the canvas while I provide indications of the cloud reflections. If I don’t quite like it, I change it -- one of the benefits of using quick-drying acrylics. I then add a few layers of tinted glazes on the water to give it the shiny water-like appearance.

I move on to details of the shimmering reflections of the sun and the appropriate cloud reflection positions. I want to provide a painting that looks real but I don’t want to make a copy of a photo. I try to combine realism with impressionism.

Lastly, my eyes told me that I needed a lighter blue sky reflection on the water, so I adjust the colors and add more glazes. And, I now have a finished painting.

Reflection by Alan Zawacki - 24"x36" acrylic on gallery wrap canvas

I hope that this little show and tell provides some insight into my painting process and the birth of a painting. Reflection can be purchased from my website: Alan Zawacki Fine Art

Have a great remainder of the week,