The Process of Painting

The Process of Painting

I always start a new quarter by explaining to my students how important it is that we develop a practice of simplification and analysis before beginning a drawing or painting. I have them do an exercise to find large simple shapes based on value within a reference image. This helps tremendously!

Gessoing day

Today I took time to gesso a bunch of small canvases! Its exciting to have canvases prepped just the way I like - all ready to go!

I really don't like the course texture of most canvas so I apply three or four coats of good acrylic gesso. Using a nice house painting brush, I put a somewhat thick layer of gesso on the surface and sides of the canvas then pull the brush carefully across the surface keeping the strokes going evenly all the way across. I let that dry, sand, then apply another coat. This time the final strokes are perpendicular to the first ones, keeping a subtle "weave" texture. The process continues - drying, sanding and alternating direction for each layer. Plenty of tooth but not too course! 


The Best Artist's Database!

Just as I prepare to make this transition to self-employment my laptop sizzles - joy...

Since I am no longer tied to the old data I've collected over the years.... I'm looking for a number of inexpensive and agile solutions to get back on track.

Many artists use spreadsheets to document their  work but I'm a database kind of gal. So in searching for a new solution, I found ArtworkArchive. This is a cloud-based database so you can access your info from any device - which I really like! And - it looks good! The reports it creates are clean and attractive - and very professional looking! The user interface is modern and, partly because it looks so good, I really enjoy working on it. 

Over the past umpteen years, I had used WorkingArtist but grew wary of it as the company stopped showing signs of upgrading the software. WorkingArtist was great - it tracked everything quite well - it even assisted in pricing artwork - oh well....

Then I imported my info into GYST - honestly, that was way too cumbersome to work with. They really want to be an all encompassing resource for artists in all aspects of their business - but I spent way too much time lost in all the info and convoluted report-generation.


I looked at a number of other options that could work but when I tried ArtworkArchive I decided the convenience, simplicity and clean, good-looking reports out-weighed the yearly $99 subscription. If you are just starting out, they have a $49/yr version that offers a limited number of pieces and locations you can track. 

I recommend you test it out for yourself - you can sign up for free and add (a very limited number of) records so you can see how it works before you buy it.