Painting by Kansas City artist Rob Schamberger © 2011 Rob. All rights reserved.

Process Week: Day One

By popular request, I thought I’d share with y’all my current process with my paintings. There’s a few steps I neglected to document before getting to this point, but they’re not too exciting visually. First, I found a big piece of wood. Living downtown is great for that sort of thing, by the way.

Then, I primed the wood with some white latex house paint. I’ve learned that this is pretty necessary for the next step.

That next step? I spray painted the wood with a bunch of colors, nothing representational, just a bunch of colors.

Then I covered up that beautiful batch of colors with newspaper, and then primed that newspaper with more paint. Why cover up the colors? We’ll get to that later this week.

For this particular piece, I wanted the painting to be as photorealistic as possible, so I projected the image onto the surface and marked the contours with a black marker. I used to do this with charcoal, but I found that the charcoal would mix with the paint and eff up my colors. Plus it’s a mess.

Now, there’s been a long, long debate over ‘tracing’ like this. Man, I could give a damn. I’m not the best realist there’s ever been, and I likely won’t ever be one. I find it frustrating that I can’t get things quite right because I just want to get to the painting and other stuff. I don’t make art to get frustrated, so for now I’m working this way.

To quote (quoting being the literary form of tracing) the late, great Wally Wood: “Never draw anything you can copy, never copy anything you can trace, never trace anything you can cut out and paste up.”

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