The first stage in creating a new painting is to transfer the image onto the canvas. I always work from either my own photographs or friends' photographs -- with permission, of course. I use a projector to transfer the image on to the canvas. This is to save time. Sometimes, I will draw the image by hand, or add various elements to the entire scene by drawing them directly onto the canvas.
I use the Old Master's Technique of underpainting the image first. This stage captures the values, shapes and many of the details of the painting. I use a single color, generally Mars Violet. You'll notice that my brush strokes can be rough. Usually, I just want to capture a dark enough base in order to give depth to the color when the painting is finished.
In fact, this is the secret of my technique!
Have you ever looked at a painting and felt the colors looked flat or fake? This is because they have only one -- maybe two layers -- of color. In every one of my paintings, you will see at least 3 layers of color: the underpainting plus two colors minimum.
This is the same technique that has been used since the Renaissance Period. Next time you seen an original painting from this period, notice how rich the colors are.
Check back next week to hear about the next stage in my process...