Scaling Up

Sketchbook Petals
February 25, 2017

It always surprises and perplexes me when people ask me to teach them to paint. It’s not that I don’t enjoy teaching – I love sharing what I know with others and, better still, I love watching them grow and develop confidence and skill as they discover new ways to express themselves.

The reason is really quite simple – I don’t feel as though I have a ‘technique’ that I can easily pass on because my work is made intuitively. I start with an idea of what I think I want to paint and then the thing takes on a life of its own and I find myself responding to the things that are happening on the canvas.

This holds true to some extent, even when I am working on as specific a task as painting the Ayio Kyriaki Church in Kato Pafos, Cyprus.

This was a commission that I was asked to complete a few months ago and one that I approached with some trepidation – buildings are not really my domain, and commissions always bring up a lot of trepidation for me. It’s that anxiety that your vision and that of your client’s align with one another.

In this case I felt under pressure to produce an accurate representation of the building. In an ideal world I would have used a projector to lay down the framework onto the canvas. I don’t have a projector, so I had to resort to using that time-tested technique – a grid.

At last, a technique that I can describe to people! Hooray!

BUT – this isn’t really the place for a step-by-step guide on ‘How to Prepare and Use the Grid for Accurate Reproductions’…..

That is something I am happy to send to you, if it interests you. All I need you to do is to drop me a private message with your email address on my Facebook Page: https://m.facebook.com/oilpainteratlarge/

Just to give you an idea of how I used the grid in the case of this painting, here are a few images of the early stages of the process showing how I got started using an A4 computer printout and a drawn grid to transfer the image precisely onto the much larger, 45 x 55 cm canvas.

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