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 last 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 locked myself into the studio and during a powerful few hours mapped our design onto the huge canvas. The sheer joy of these first bold strokes, I will never find proper words for…FUN!
The painting progressed fast into the middle phase.
Things are looking good but large areas are still underdeveloped compared to others. At this stage it is much 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 real time.
Of course, with a project this complex and big, it is not possible to plan everything to the minutest detail. We also don’t want to completely stifle the creative process so enough room is secured for moments of inspiration and spontaneity.
One big decision and addition we made to the painting in the later 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.
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