I've written a blog post about how to finish out a painting. But how about how to start one? Everyone's creative process is different, but I wanted to share mine with you in case you could glean anything useful from my method.
Each painting of mine starts with an idea. That idea can be a mood, subject matter, or color theme that I want to explore. The best places for me to find these ideas is by watching music videos, reading fashion magazines, watching foreign (especially Asian) films, or looking around on the internet for new fresh artists. If I'm patient and mull things around in my head a bit... an inspiring idea will definitely take shape.
Here are some examples of my favorite sources of inspiration:
Music video featuring Shibasaki Kou (柴咲コウ) (Sorry it won't let me embed for some reason)
↓ British fashion magazine i-D (not to be confused with the now-discontinued American design mag I.D.)
↓ Japanese NHK historical dramas (taiga dorama) such as 2011's "Gou."
Then, I try to capture the mood I have in my mind. I just write whatever comes to mind, whether it makes grammatical sense or looks like ancient prison-wall scrawl. I have to get it all on paper before I forget!
Next, I obtain reference photos for the main subject, which for me, is almost always a single Japanese-ish-looking female (or sometimes, male.) I find myself becoming picker and pickier about angles of the face. My current fave is the 3/4 view with nice rim lighting. I either take a reference photo of a model (or... myself :'( or combine ideas from photos I find online. Then, I make a very detailed sketch, like my most recent sketch for my most recent piece. ↓
These days, I try to take more and more care on the initial sketch. I used to rush the sketch to get to the painting, which often produced wonky, slipshod work later. I am also heartened to hear that everyone's favorite girl Audrey Kawasaki spends sometimes days on the initial drawing before she applies any color at all. Very encouraging fact!
↓ Audrey's super careful under-drawings
Then it's time to come up with an agreeable color scheme for the whole work. People often compliment my use of color, and I attribute that to thoughtful planning beforehand. But do you want to know a WONDROUS secret weapon? It's... Adobe Kuler! This amazing site has series upon series of beautiful colors schemes, and you can even search by keyword such as "hot" or "gloomy" or "Miami Beach." I often find loads of inspiration there. Give it a try!
So, this is the start of my painting process. Sometime I'll blog about the middle, the actual process. For now, you can see a FB album about it on my JUURI page. Hope you enjoyed this little post. Until then, cheerio~!