I will tell you something about my technique in the past and present. Earlier I used to start with a monochrome under-painting, because it gave me the opportunity to phase the work in form and color, and the tools to get a firm grip on the form and add the color in a later stage to give atmosphere to the image. I left this method working consciously, because better atmosphere and softer forms could be achieved by not separating the two. After series of experiments in style and technique I found a sort of integration by working towards a total feeling of the painting in color. First in acrylics, later in oil. Depending on the work, the form is already there in the first phase. In all phases Photo’s ( analog or digital) are part of the planning and a nowadays sketch book. In a way it fixes the lighting posture and mimics that hold important ingredients for the final work. It also gives the experimental painter the freedom to move in directions that are seemingly not directly aiming for an end result. Accidental happenings in techniques are incorporated if it is seen as interesting. In one mood it may be just a stain that is in the way, but the very next day seen as a lucky accident. To a large extend I empty myself of a plan or at least leave room for the unexpected. Abstracting the mind and thinking outside the box in technique and content is what keeps painting alive. And yes much “work” is thrown if it does not seem to work. In these phases all kind of tools may be used, sponges, knives, clothes, pieces of plastic, anything that may produce traces in the paint (acrylics or oil) and in a later phase also.
The outline of atmosphere helps me to focus on the idea and I try to find what needs to be done to enhance it. The experimental phase urges me to see the potential it holds. This way the apparent coincidence and what I had in mind, come together and (hopefully) lead to an image which is layered in every way. Earlier I used board because it is smooth, now I use canvas on board very often.
It shows more of a handwriting and texture in the painting. The phase in which details and sharpness of the image is added, comes in the top layer. This is always done in oil paints.
Besides technical layers I also need the ‘story’ to feel good for myself and present in the composition for as much as it needs, without telling too much.
I expect of this technique merely a means to an end, . Not knowing what the end will be, makes it more exciting and expedient to the whole creative process. If an idea appeals to me, it should be explored with an open mind. No restrictions of technique should restrain that idea. Then I just ‘go for it’ and do what the image wants me to.