Question: How long does a piece take you to make?
Answer: The amount of time it takes to sit down and complete painting is not the same as the amount of time it takes to come up with an idea, figure out the composition and colors, and finally finish a painting. It also varies greatly depending on size, amount of colors, and amount of detail. Some paintings I finish up in a day or two. Some, take a year. Although, it’s not all time spent painting.
I use acrylic paint for my paintings which means it dries super fast. Usually I have to add something to the paint to make sure it doesn't dry up before I'm done painting. The thing that takes me a long time isn't the actual painting, it's all the decisions I have to make from what colors to use to how many characters do I want?
There is a lot of empty space, that looks like nothing is happening.
Sitting on the couch staring at the ceiling for an hour. Lists in a notebook from five years ago. Messy sketches I can’t remember what they are supposed to be. Paintings sitting half finished on the easel for months.
But this space is the most important.
This is why I’m usually working on a dozen projects at a time, in various stages. I’m constantly sketching, writing, doodling. In sketchbooks, on old envelopes, or on my hand. A lot of these sketches are "bad" but that's ok! Sometimes just getting my hand moving is what I need to come up with an idea.
Some paintings have other paintings underneath them. Hidden by another version of the idea that I decided was better. Both Shadow Man and Mother Earth sat in its before state in my studio for about a year before I finally painted over it. I think the after pictures are much more me and convey what I was trying to say.
Sculptures take at minimum two weeks to make because of the drying time. There are several steps, and some of those steps takes 24 hours or longer to dry.
Step 1: I come up with a character concept or idea by sketching.
Step 2: I build an armature. I use foam, foil, tapes, pieces of wood, dowels, really anything that will give me the basic shape of what I'm trying to make. I do this so I don't use tons of clay and it gives support to the piece. Nobody wants a sculpture to fall in on itself or crumble after a year or so.
Step 3: Creative Paperclay is the first type of clay I use. Its a lightweight clay that is pretty durable. I use it to refine the basic shapes and start to give some life to the piece.
Step 4: The second type of clay I use is an epoxy clay. It comes in two parts, a hardener and resin that I have to hand mix. It dries really hard so it's great for things like eyes, ears, and hands. Or, to attach the sculpture to the base. In the image below, the darker grey color is epoxy clay.
Step 5: Paint! I usually do a base color paint first. Let that dry for 24 hours. Then I come back to add any aging, details, glitter, etc. Finally after everything is painted I'll apply a varnish, to protect the paint.
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