Do you first choose something to be colored, like something that’s pretty? Do you make up a theme before you even have a picture to hang on the wall? How do you get started?
Bridget Smith: You make up a theme for every painting. But I start off with something that is familiar or familiar within my own work, and I think about what it looks like on paper; what the picture looks like on paper, because that’s what I’m looking for. Then I start off with making sure I have the space to show the picture, how many panels I have, the number of panels.
In terms of starting out, at first you just write down whatever you want to paint. Once you find your style, you just stick with it until you get certain panels, and then you can start getting to a better palette.
That’s the whole idea: a few key things you have to figure out in order to create the mood you’re striving for.
There are so many layers. There are so many ways I paint, and to keep things interesting, I have to keep doing that because you just got too far away from the main topic when you start painting. You can never put you’re art on the wall the same way, so you have to be aware of each step, and you can never put those concepts on paper, because you might get away from them or you don’t even like them.
For an illustration, I always have to have a sketch, because you can take a basic idea and do a complete sketch, or you can try to come up with an illustration for the illustration.
Like for this, I started off with a few drawings I had done, and I said: “Let me start with a few sketches to get a sense for how I have this painting going on right now.” I drew some birds, and I made sure to keep that sketch as a guide.
Once I have something I like, then you start to go into your palette.
Now, just to get this down to a fine point, I draw everything with broad strokes—no point at the back of the palette. If you start drawing very light, you can get into that point from too far away, because if you start to take them too close to each other, the colors will just bleed. So I’ve got to limit my strokes so they’re not so broad.
With the birds, I want to make sure they look right and
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