Here's a painting in process, beginning with my drawing. I'll post more pics as my painting progresses. My work always begins with rough thumbnails, in this beginning stage I have fun playing around with design and shapes. My goal is to work out any compositional or drawing issues before I start committing with paint. With larger paintings I work with intervals and placement by using an armature to locate the harmonics, or dynamic symmetry. When I have the most pleasing composition I make sure my still life set-up matches the thumbnail to capture proper light and cast shadows in my full size drawing.
I use a basic armature to help place objects in my painting. Armatures help locate certain intervals in a composition that are more pleasing to the eye. We also find similar intervals in music that are pleasing to the ears, for example in music the fourth and fifth are so pleasing they are called 'perfect' intervals. I find that working with intervals is very intuitive and usually an armature is not needed, but it's very helpful for transferring information from a small thumbnail to a large drawing--I use it exactly the same way as a grid would be used to 'scale up'. The armature is much simpler to execute.
Next is a utilitarian drawing that is the same size as my painting panel, above you can see the armature and compare how it matches my thumbnail.
Once the drawing is finished I cover the back of the drawing with thinned burnt umber or other earth toned paint. The solvent evaporates leaving a perfect amount of pigment on the paper to transfer with out smudging.
Finally I flip the drawing over and retrace my drawing, transferring the image onto my panel. The process takes no time at all and I'm ready to move on to painting! In my next post I'll share the underpainting.