How I Start a Painting


Sometimes a blank canvas can be intimidating or if it’s big, the size can be overwhelming. I usually paint to music and that genre choice usually depends on the mood I’m in.

The painting usually begins with colors that I have seen in a photo, or nature, or a painting that I’ve seen may spark my interest and I will decide on a palette for my blank canvas. I want to quickly take away the intimidation of the white as soon as possible so I paint a background color that works with my palette.


Often times it’s a warm color, yellow, orange or pink, to give the artwork a glow peeking from behind the layers to come. After the white is gone, I go for a splash of color. I add gestural marks in graphite or pastel then begin by adding texture with mediums and paints. The tools I use are traditional but I’ve often used some very unusual tools such as a toilet brush, a A paint brush attached to a Smores extendable and retractable telescope stick, and a cake decorating comb!

No matter how I imagine the finished painting should look, this fun and spontaneous method to begin a painting leaves me curious as to where it will end up. The drips and flow of paint lead me to follow my intuition to the end and it’s different every time.