Project: Europa – the creation of an original surreal painting

A Collaboration…the creative process, shared.

Creating original surreal paintings completely on your own is one thing. Creating original surreal paintings in collaboration with another individual, is another beast altogether. Both processes are deeply fulfilling journeys, but in the second case, another human is involved: it is a relationship.

When things work out, the end result is an incredible work of art, with immense personal worth to the client, not just because of the content but because of the journey: the in-depth experience of the creative process in all its imperfect glory. This Project: Europa was no different.

A friend, many years ago said: ‘One day, I want one of you paintings.’ That day came and the conversation started.

The procedure was the same as with previous commissions: She planted a few seeds, we discussed the ideas and possibilities at length via e-mail, I started working on drawings and gradually we developed the concept until we had a fairly detailed digital draft of the future painting. After a final round of discussions we made the final adjustments and the artist got the ‘go ahead’!

I do the final preliminary work as a digital painting in Krita. The great advantage of the digital format is that at this late stage we can still adjust the design without wasting lots of time and material. Additionally, the client gets a very good impression of what the final painting will look like thus eliminating potentially costly changes deep into the actual painting process.

I lock myself into the studio and during a powerful few hours map our design onto the huge canvas. The sheer joy of these first bold strokes, I will never find proper words for…FUN!

The painting progresses fast into the middle phase.

The 1.5m wide canvas is beginning to look like something!

Things are looking good but large areas are still underdeveloped compared to others. At this it is must easier to judge and calculate where small adjustments need to happen. During this stage, many small decisions have to be made, things which were impossible to foresee. Most of the finer detail I improvise in realtime.

Of course, with a project this complex and big, it is not possible to plan everything to the minutest detail. You also don’t want to stifle the artist and suck all room for a bit of inspiration, magic and freedom out of the process! We are talking about art here, not sputnik.

One big decision and addition we made to the painting in the late stage, which was not in the original concept, was the central scene of the two young children on the tree with the twisting branches. It was just the right thing to completely mesh the upper and lower realms.

Wonderful bit of detail near completion.
Almost done!

Contact me now to start discussing your unique painting!

Please have a look at other similar collaborations:

Posted in Commissioned Works, Paintings.