Many of my paintings start with a playful, experimental phase that establishes a base of color and texture. Sometimes I have an idea or theme in mind, but I definitely don't plan out exactly how the piece is going to look when it's finished. Here's how a small piece called "Sea Slug 1" evolved:
Starting on the left, I was playing with watercolors and inks on a canvas panel coated with absorbent ground.
Sea creatures is a recurring theme in my work. In the second image from the left, I've joined two shapes together with a blue outline and added some texture with a sea slug in mind.
In the third image, I add some orange conical protrusions, like ones I saw on a sea slug out at Bamfield some years ago.
At far right is the finished image. A wash of slightly darker value around the slug shape helps differentiate it from the background. Voila!
Next week: "So how do you know when you're finished?!!"