November 03, 2021 – Handy Creative Benefit While Waiting for More Time to Paint : Prep a Canvas with a Potential Image in Mind

Prepping 16x20 canvas for painting on Absorbent Ground mixed with Light Molding Paste ©Felipe Adan Lerma Oct 2021
Prepping 16×20 canvas for painting on Absorbent Ground mixed with Light Molding Paste ©Felipe Adan Lerma Oct 2021

Sometimes, when I haven’t the time I need to get into and do a full facet of a painting the way I need to keep the painting whole, I get very frustrated, lol!

I forget that, whether working oils or watercolors or acrylics, where one dries ultra slowly and another fairly quickly but is re-wet-able and the other dries super fast anyways, I can – and now that I’m again into some kind of stream of painting more consistently – I can and should and am lucky to be able to start prepping a next canvas.

Most times, when I was painting more slowly, almost sporadically, while gestating maybe, lol! – prepping a canvas was more a chore than an opportunity.

And not just an opportunity to prep a new canvas to dab colors onto, but – I’d either forgotten or not been this far into canvas prep before, now that I’m using various texture patterning grounds – but prepping a canvas now, I can dwell and ponder creatively what I want to paint and how I can prepare the canvas surface to enhance or facilitate the image I’m beginning to envision.

For instance, in the above, I decided I wanted a figure.

Now, for me, a figure is usually human, but could also be a butterfly or bird or even an angel, like I’ve done in a few paintings ( here and here ). In this case I definitely want either a female or female with small child, so I formed and re-formed then left the center right (facing the canvas) “mostly” blank. I debated whether to smooth out the two counter-clockwise curves out, but felt (feel?) a temptation to make the figure slightly smaller, and fit her into what looks like be either a distance or opening into a distance. All this among and within the textured vegetation lines all around the vertical right-center smooth opening.

To capture the texture itself in a photo, I turned the canvas at an angle from the light. The top part of my carved-into-the paste and grounds signature is just visible bottom left. What I’ve noticed about the texture is, it’s very visible at this stage kinda disappears somewhat as I build in layers, and then, when I flesh out the surface ridges and nuance the colors, the texture makes a new appearance. Literally I guess, lol!

Plus, at this point, where I’m at now with this canvas as seen above, the possibilities are nearly endless in terms of how impressionistic, how abstract the entire piece might still be. Even mixtures of the two, like in another recent 16×20, which is a mix of watercolors and acrylics – Fantasy Walk, from just over a month ago – .

All this creative thought, and more really, like deciding to add white absorbent ground into my light molding paste to brighten the latter, all that and more went on during the sometimes seemlingly dreary task of prepping my canvas for “art” 😊

The smile face is because really, truly, the creative work, it’s all art, parts of art anyway.

Moving parts at that, lol! 😊

Also, once I have a good chunk of a painting “in” and on the canvas – then the numerous moments of tiny touchups are nibbles and gulps of creativity – like snacking on dark chocolate covered almonds, maybe with sprinkles of sea salt ❤️


Thanks so much everyone! Stay safe, stay creative! 💕


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