Sunday, April 8, 2012

an answer to a recent question via email:

Question: "May I ask do you transfer your images from cell phone to canvas? Pencil sketch? Grid? Projection?"

Answer: No projections, EVER.

With my earlier paintings, i used the grid method and pencil to get the main shapes in the right spot, and making sure it all fit in the composition, then i would begin color blocking from there.

Now, i begin a painting without using the grid or pencil drawing, i use a loose initial sketch-in using Burnt Sienna. I make sure it all fits in the composition before moving on to color. Sometimes i can get very detailed before the color stage, with lots of measuring using my brush, and sometimes it's a simple outline to make sure of where the focal area and main interest will be.

I have included a before and after to give you an idea of how detailed the initial sketch can be, as well as the finished result:

Before: Initial Burnt Sienna Sketch-In

After: Finished painting
"In The Alley Behind April Flowers"
oil on board
12 x 24

The drawing stage is never final, though i do enjoy drawing and can get very detailed with it, many times it is pointless to get so detailed since it will be covered with color, the drawing only serves as a guide to where everything in the composition will be located, so as to not just dive into the painting blindly and find out something doesn't fit later.

I switched from using the grid because of the looseness and freedom this sketch-in process using Burnt Sienna provides, gives one the feeling of discovery as opposed to sticking to the confines and accuracy of the grid.

Though i do work from photographs for some of my paintings, and i know i'm not the only one, no matter what other artists say, it is not a matter of simply copying the picture, be it from a cell phone or whatever, the photo is used for reference purposes. A field study, or ink/pencil sketch can be used in the same way, for me and the subjects i am interested in, a picture is more than necessary since such moments last a fraction of a second, and though not impossible to capture without a camera, i find it very helpful in my process. Perhaps one day i'll be able to not use my reference photos, but for the time being, i'll keep using them.

I hope this answered your question.

Oscar Arroyo

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