The Creative/Artistic Process: Part 2-Example

As part of the series on creative/artistic process, I thought I might try to document what I do while creating art.  That seems easy enough, but I am sure I left a few parts out, or forgot to record what I did because I became immersed in the actual artwork.  Let me try to break down what I did.

I was blocked and wasn’t sure what I was going to do on the empty canvas.  I keep looking at different photographs that I had taken at one of my favorite places and I just couldn’t settle on a particular image.  Nothing was jumping out with excitement saying, “paint me, paint me.”  I started one sketch on a canvas and decided no, I didn’t want to do that.  Then I looked through hundreds more photographs.  I came across some poppy photographs that I liked, so I started to paint while listening to music.  I painted a small series of paintings (5).  That helped loosen me up and unblock my thinking.

I again, look through a couple of images that struck me as paintable. I finally settle on a close up of a rose that I photographed a few years ago.  I draw out the idea on the canvas using a B pencil.  I then draw out the plan in my sketchbook.  My sketch doesn’t look as good as the canvas drawing.

Before starting to paint, I gather my pallet (ice cream lid) and my water bucket (ice cream bucket), my paint, brushes, headphones with music.  It’s night time so I have no distractions. My first set of supplies consist of Grumbacher paint and brushes:

  • Cadmium yellow
  • Titanium White
  • Alizarin Crimson
  • #8 Brush

After that I lose track of the other colors that I used.  But the painting did take place over a couple of days.

After the blocking the colors and before I add details I get to the stage I call “The Yuck Stage.” The Yuk Stage is basically, I am not sure if I actually want to spend any more paint or time on this painting.  For this project, I continued because I wanted to get a start to finish in this piece.  I continued my lower left corner petal.  It was very time consuming.  I actually, didn’t want to take too much time on that corner or the whole painting.  I was still in the Yuck Stage.

The painting sat for a week and a half, untouched.  I only finished it because I made it a goal to finish that painting and another I started.  This painting has less of the Yuck Stage.  Most of my paintings stay in this phase until I get to the small brush stage (a two or a zero sized bush).  When I am using the small brush, I like to listen to quiet and soft music.  Then when I take a break, I will stare at it for a good five to ten minutes and just study the painting and try to see what else I will need to do.

For this painting I flipped it over to get to other areas; I often to this with my flower paintings because I like to see a different perceptive. I know I am done when there are no more brush strokes to put on the painting.

After I finished the Warm Rose I had some left over paint.  I do not like to waist paint, so I made another little painting.  I guess it’s a follow up to the painting.  Something that does not take much mental skill and just a fun; let me see what happens when painting.  I looked at another photograph.  But that photograph not necessarily my favorite flower but the structure is angular.  So I sketch out the outline in paint and then start to fill in with colors.  So I guess this second piece is a mental release.  Maybe next time I will write down everything I do with a painting.

I’m trying to work out examples for my students so that they can work through a process of creating art.


Mrs. Berry


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