Sunday, August 21, 2011

Foundations are so important...

When I start a new painting, I want to grab my brushes and sling some exciting colors all over the place. But, if I do that without a good foundation, all I will have is a lot of puddles of wasted paint.
Foundation sketch on tracing paper
For me, a good painting begins with a solid preliminary sketch where lines define the boundaries of color, light, and shadow.  The creation of this detailed sketch is time consuming, but skipping this step is not an option because the entire painting will be built upon this drawing. 

using a light frame to transfer
the drawing to the paper

When the sketch is completed, this foundation must be transferred to my watercolor paper or I will still be guessing where my brush needs to go.  Form and substance are built on this foundation, so I must be equally diligent when I transfer my sketch to my paper.  
ready to begin painting

Ah, at last!  The watercolor paper has the foundation sketch transferred to it and painting can begin!  Now is the time to carefully follow the foundation sketch with my brush strokes and let the painting come to life.  Using the right colors in the right areas will bring form and substance to the image.  Otherwise, despite all of my preparation, this will just be paper and a puddle of paint. 

The Lord brings substance to my life in the same way.  His foundation, the Bible, gives me boundaries that shape and form me.  His foundation frees me to become more than a blank piece of paper and a puddle of paint – it frees me to be the me He sees. 

Doing a little painting today?  Remember to have a good foundation, first! 

Blessings, Kathy 

“Everyone who comes to Me, and hears My words, and acts upon them,
I will show you whom he is like:  he is like a man building a house, who dug deep
and laid a foundation upon the rock; and when a flood rose, the torrent burst
against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built.” 
Luke 6: 47-8


  1. It's fun seeing your creative process in action! Your talent knows no bounds!

  2. Thanks, Emily =)

    Thanks, Beaded! I appreciate the compliment =) I will post more WIP photos of this painting as I am going to try a slightly different technique in some parts of the painting. Looking forward to playing while I paint!

  3. You are so creative, and talented, I just love the horses you paint, I had three horses as a child and so they are very special to me.

    I just found your blog from the cast team...

    I am your newest follower!

  4. Stand naked, under an umbrella, in the rain, dancing your brush full of color across the canvas. Letting go of preconceived emotion, no lines ...

    You know that I just love your work, and cherish so much my small collection. x0

  5. P.S. Saffron = Pretty .. closed 1st and reopened.

    ~ Lily a/k/a Re *shrugs*

    Creative confusion

  6. Thank you for showing your process, a great foundation is basic to everything in life.

  7. Wow...I didn't know you sketched them first. There is a lot of behind the scenes work that we as artists do that no one realizes!

  8. that is a lot of prep work. But it's all worthwhile {:-D

  9. With the Lord as our foundation all that we build/create will be to His glory!

  10. Wonderful post, Kathy! Thanks for sharing your process. I find most time is spent in layout and design and mixing paint...painting time flies by :D

  11. Thanks, sweetybird! I appreciate your lovely comments! How wonderful that you had horses =) They are such amazing creatures!

    Oh, yay! Now I know why I know you so well ;-) Lily/RE/Saffron/Pretty!!!!
    Hehe - too many tumbleweeds and the rain=gullywashers - here I may need a sharksuit to paint in the rain *LOL*
    ;-) Thanks for the compliment!

    Thanks, Marlene =) So very true!

    So very true, memories! I think that "work in progress" blog posts really help people to appreciate our finished products when they see the foundation work that was done first.

    storybeader - so very true, though hard to remember when it's taking a lot of time to get the drawing just right.

    Amen, Rememberances! "Doing everything to the Lord" also means doing my best with the "hidden" work as well as the finished product - in life as well as art

    Lee - thanks - glad you enjoyed seeing the process.
    The thought process before the drawing begins takes a while, too. You are so very right - all of these early steps seem to take way longer than the actual painting time. I think that the painting time happens so smoothly and quickly because of all the previous preparation.

  12. So true and wonderfully put!!

    By allowing god to be our foundation we will be made perfect according to his plan.

  13. Amen, Kim - so very true. Isn't it cool the way that God puts so many illustrations to support that in simple day to day things that we commonly see around us?!

  14. Another great post. Thank you for taking the time to explain your first steps.

  15. You are welcome, Pam! Thanks for the compliment =)


Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

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