Friday, 20 July 2012

A Bit of a Step by Step Thingy....

I have had a couple of emails lately asking me about my drawing style
and so I thought I might do a bit of a step by step thingy
based on a sketch I have been doing over the last day of two

So step one
find something to draw
never a tough thing when you have tea tins like this sitting around
but just as lazy easy
 is a quick trip to raid the cupboard or fridge 
and then try to get a bit of an outline happening
I draw the outline in pen
so I don't get too precious
I appear to be unable to use pencil without an eraser
and end up correcting and getting hung up on details
Pen also makes me focus
as I do tend to suffer from being insanely easy to distract

so I  just try to get the major shapes in
and then try to get some paint on it as quickly as possible
putting detail in at this stage is completely useless
 as I am pathologically unable to paint carefully in the lines anyway
and if I am honest I kind of can't be assed being too neat about it
and figure I can fix problems as I go
which sometimes bites me big time
but it seems to work more times than not...
I am just sort of blocking in some colour
and yes it really is that messy
you thought I was kind of kidding didn't you
nope the first layer always looks like a dog's dinner

Next is the ugly child phase of the work
if we are honest then we all know
even the best looking kids go through an ugly patch

I remember Phantom having a one sided mullet 
from always sleeping on one side of her head
that was not her most attractive phase
but she has turned out to be completely mulletless and is now pretty gorgeous
and you have no clue 
how hard it is to not post a photo of said half mullet
but she would kill me 
16 year olds have no sense of humour

Where was I ... see what I mean about distracted
to get my work through the ugly phase it is all about colour
I try to strengthen it up
and add some shape and a touch more detail
 and if the mood strikes
 a bit of tonal work in the to give some shape
I work from a little watercolour wheel and don't mix quantities of colour
so there are often little pools and uneven bits 
but I try to leave them unless they are too glaring

Once it is dry
I attack it with Micron pens and "tidy" up the outlines
and add details and pick out shapes
and all of a sudden it starts to come together
it goes from ugly child to one you can show in public 
and then it is just a matter
of some highlights in white goauche for the light source
and any other white bits like lettering
that I have inevitably not left and painted or drawn over along the way
and a final lick of micron to add a bit of tone and define the shape

With that it is done and dusted
and before I start picking it to pieces and finding fault
I pop on the kettle on and drink my subject
which is crazy delicious 
while heading over to check out some other painters at Paint Party Friday...xx

This is what has been happening in my blog world this week


Rita said...

Thanks so much for doing this step-by-step! Very helpful for novices like myself...and I just plain am fascinated by how artists create. Excellent rendition, as usual. :):):)

Helen Campbell said...

Wonderful paintings as always, Tracey! I love the step by step, it's very helpful! Thank you so much for sharing it. Happy PPF!

Rhonda said...

I can't draw without a pencil and eraser to save mu life! I admire you so much for being able to sketch with a pen! Love your post today. Thanks for sharing your process.

Lynn Cohen said...

Lessons much appreciated. Still wonder if you do not work professionally for sign makers or label makers of some sort; tea industry perhaps? If not you certainly could!

Love the outcomes of ALL your art!

Paula - Buenos Aires said...

It´s great to be able to see the whole process. Thank youo.
Don´t worry, I didn´t mention the earrings, you can still missmatch them at will. ;)

Giggles said...

Thank-you, thank-you thank-you for this amazing tutorial...loved it! Your final product is always fantastic, fun to see how you get there! In the process it was generous of you to air a little dirty linen!!! I love the ugly kid stage! You're a wonderful inspirational teacher... can't wait to give it a try!

Happy ppf!!
Hugs Giggles

Creatively yours Fi said...

Fabulous Tracey! You make it all seem deceptively easy...that's your very modest natural talent speaking! Love the analogy with your daughter :))

Unknown said...

Love the blow by blow and giggle along the way...ugly the t-shirt on that one... :)

Valerie-Jael said...

Very interesting to see your step by step. Thanks for sharing! Valerie

Jennifer McLean said...

OOh, now I see the "man behind the curtain" so to speak!! I thought for sure you were the God of cool paintings and now I see you're a demi God with a great eye!! Hehehe. Seriously though, I KNEW you were gonna keep painting those fab tins!

You make me so wish I was as addicted to tea as you are so I'd have beautiful little boxes and tins to paint like that. The tea does sound delish. I never asked, do you put "stuff" in your tea like whitener or sugar?? Would it curdle?? I have blackberry tea that seems to curdle the coffeemate I add to it. weird. sigh.
Much Love,
(Half through writing a long assed email to you, lots of complaining but filled with love, lol(

Jez said...

Agree with you about using pens, I have to use a pen to be 'free'. Thank you for this generous tutorial, it's so interesting to follow through. But you still have that 'something extra' within you that makes the magic. Your posts always make me feel better.

HeARTworks said...

That was fun, Tracey! You make it look so easy! Patsy from
HeARTworks and

Natasha said...

You have better tea tins than I do and I thought I had quite the collection. I do want to try that flavour. I love your step by step. I love seeing people's process photos.

VonnyK said...

Wish I could be as free as you and use pens, but I'm too anal and have to use the old pencil and lots of rubber. If I used pen, it would be a black blob with all the do overs :)
Love your tea drawing and especially the step by step. Wondered how you always keep the white for the highlight, now I know you cheat with paint (ha).
Von :)

Carmen said...

Isn't it funny - I find it so much easier to draw with pens too, ever since I was a child. Like you say - with the pencils I go through rubbers like nobodies business!

Loved this step by step peek into your process :)

Faye said...

Your work is delightful, Tracey. Just yesterday as I was mulling over what to do for PPF, I thought of you and how you use just ordinary things in your house to draw and paint. Your tea container and the step by step account are wonderful. I also like the shoe that looks like a watermelon.

minnemie said...

Ahhh, love the glimpse into you process. You humbly left our that you have an amazing eye and sure hand! You do make it look so easy... and gorgeous. Add your wit, and this makes for a fantastic place to come and visit with a steaming cup of comfort in hand.:-)

FLO said...

Un petit tour sur votre blog, j'aime votre style et vos couleurs joyeuses

Sandra Busby said...

I just LOVE step-by-steps! Maybe it's because I am just plain nosey! I'm really glad you shared your process with us! My tea just comes in colourful boxes - I haven't seen fancy tubs like this one anywhere yet. :0)

Ċ olanje na domu-Waldorf said...

I always enjoy your sketches but this one is just wow! I really love the colors! :)

Carolyn Dube said...

Thanks for sharing your process- amazing what the little touches and micron pen do to pull it all together. You should be up for sainthood for not posting that picture of the mullet. I don't know if I'd have that kind of strength.

carol l mckenna said...

Oh wonderful that you share your process so well ~ you helped me accept my 'process' which is similar in thought to yours I don't usually fuss ~ tend to go with the flow ~ Wonderful work as usual ~~ thanks, ^_^ (A Creative Harbor)

Christine said...

thanks for showing your process, it's a beautiful tin you've painted. You're so talented.

carlarey said...

Oh, look at you showing off with your preliminary sketch and all. Hmmm, planning and preparation. Maybe I should look into some of that.

Kat Sloma said...

I LOVE reading about your process, and how you do certain things to avoid getting to detailed too early. That freedom comes through in your work. That is something I am learning for myself, in my painting style. Happy PPF!

Catherine Denton said...

Oh my gosh, I LOOOVE seeing your process!! It's so inspiring and even the ugly patch seems beautiful to me. Thank you for sharing this. I absolutely adore how make the average, daily items into gorgeous works of art!
Catherine Denton

Marji said...

From Dog's dinner, ugly child to pure beauty. To see your steps is really great. I love those micron pens and how they can tidy up. Very fun and this flavor does sound pretty tasty. Happy PPF

Debbie said...

You make it sound so easy. Thanks so much for sharing your process with us. Very inspiring! I'm working on a project for our summer Bible school that is very much in the ugly child phase at the moment, so much so that I was starting to lose hope. But I know I have to work through it and it will be OK in the end!

The Muse of The Day said...

Hi Tracey, I am new to your blog. I have been hovering over it for the past couple of weeks. I like what I see. There is a certain "sureness" in your lines, it also comes through in the saturation of color that you choose, that I find I can learn from. You will see me here again.


Jo Murray said...

Looks simple enough... but hey, one has to have the concept AND be able to draw. Thanks for that.

GlorV1 said...

Ooooh, I love everything, especially your watermelon tennis. Awesome, just awesome. Thank you. Wonderful colors.

Robin Panzer Art said...

What a wonderful "how to" love what you do and how you do it! Happy PPF! #3 Robin Panzer Art Studio 33

Sinderella's Studio said...

this must be Friday of WOW'S. . .I really don 't know how else to express myself. THANK YOU SOOOOOO MUCH FOR SHARING THIS!
cheers, dana

Mary C. Nasser said...

Loved seeing your step by step process!
I am such a fan of your art! :)
Happy PPF!!
Mixed-Media Map Art

GlorV1 said...

Wonderful work as always Tracy. Love the steps. Thanks for sharing.

GlorV1 said...

Wonderful work as always Tracy. Love the steps. Thanks for sharing.

deeplyrootedinbeing said...

Thank you for sharing your step by step thingy! Loved it! Your work is amazing, as always!! :)

Unknown said...

Wow! thanks for the awesome toot! I just LOVE to see "how it's done" from all of my artist friends around the world - it's like being in class together :)

scrapmanufaktur said...

fabulous, like the other sketches. They are so perfect and full of life!

Lisabella Russo said...

How wonderful of you to post your step by step process. I am addicted to my eraser, I love that you're bold and draw without a net so to speak. It really works for you!

Unknown said...

It's always wonderful viewing the making of works. Thank you for sharing!!

Anne Manda said...

Thank you for the process info, very interesting, since I love your style!

Debbie said...

thank you for showing your process! I always enjoy seeing how other artist build layers. Your painting is wonderful as always! (your story about your daughter gave me the giggles)Have a wonderful weekend!

Sabina said...

Great job bringing this tin child to life. And wow I can't believe you don't bother with pencils. I make too many mistakes to skip that step so I'm impressed.

Gloria j Zucaro said...

I love the step by step Tracey, thanks so much! I did not realize there were so many steps involved, though. I guess that is why your work has such depth! I have never used gouache, is that an acrylic?

Marit said...

Thanks for the tutorial Tracey, it is much appraciated and helpful and fun to see the process of other artists!

Nora MacPhail said...

Beautiful rich colours. Thanks for sharing your process with us!

Melisa said...

Oh yum, this one looks so good. I'd love to try this flavor. I really enjoyed seeing your step by step!

Cris, Artist in Oregon said...

Love your work and writing. Wonderful post on how to do what you do. Makes it fun. HPPF.

Karen Smithey said...

I love this! It's nice to know that you start out with a very basic outline and then go back in at the end with the pens.

I've been playing with watercolors this week, and am finding out it's a whole different critter than acrylics!

Love the part about your daughter--

JKW said...

Interesting approach and with humor. I like your work and your words. Blessings, Janet PPF

Cathy Bueti said...

Wow! This is amazing!! THanks for sharing this step by step. Great to see how it progresses!


Fallingladies said...

I'm so excited to see your process, eventhough i do it almost the same, it's fun to watch the steps of others, your final touches add soooo much!

Unknown said...

Beautiful. Thank you for telling us the step by step of your work. It's always nice to see the progress.

Have a great day!