Jackie Richardson

Where do I start?

Sometimes I am asked how I start a new painting, so I thought I would write a blog post about how I approach a new piece of art work.

I do a lot of en plein air sketches in pencil or gouache as well as taking photographs, so I will go back to my sketches to see what catches my eye. It may be the silhouette of a rock on the beach, or the view through a small gap to a world beyond, or the curve of a lane and its bank.

I then use the sketch and my photographic references as a basis for some quick thumbnail drawings, where I work out the composition, shape and tone. When I am happy with this I will introduce colour into the small sketches. It’s a process of experimenting with small changes, or sometimes major ones, to decide which detail to include and which to strip away.

It’s at this point that I move onto cartridge paper, where I scale up the image to the actual size. I am still making changes all the time. When I have a completed drawing, I transfer this to my art support and then make the decision on which medium to use. Both pastels and acrylics give me the vibrancy of colour that I love.

DATE: 7 / 10 / 2014