Developing the ideas

All paintings of this nature are basically developed in the same way, although the technique has become more sophisticated over time.

Having been given the texts, the initial part of any painting on this theme is largely research - reading the texts and others that relate to it; seeing how other Artists throughout the ages have tackled the subject and from this what we can borrow or reject. From this I make very rough drawings in small sketchbooks, working from one sketchbook to another as an idea develops. I work on one painting at a time, choosing each passage as I feel confident enough to begin it. The paintings were not made in sequential order, but more a case of bouncing around ideas as a musician might do with 'riffs' until a firmer idea takes shape.

As a painter, you consciously or otherwise, pull in all your experience of life, all that interests you and that has happened to you, and then sift through to see what is usable and what is not. One of my big interests is computer generated graphics and design, and from this I developed the above way of working based on the Renaissance painters method of developing ideas at full size though the use of 'cartoons'.

I consider the use of a computer - in this case an Apple Macintosh - to be nothing more than a tool that aids the development of an idea. If Apple Macintoshes had been around at the time that Michelangelo painted the Sistine Chapel, I am sure that he would have used one, perhaps along with an LCD projector shining his drawings up from the floor, to help him in the development of his work. This is now a technique I am developing for larger paintings in oil and acrylic.

Click on each of the thumbnails to see how the development evolves right up to the final painting.
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Developing
the drawing 1
Developing
the drawing 2
Developing
the drawing 3
Developing
the painting 1
Developing
the painting 2
Developing
the painting 3
Developing
the painting 4
Developing
the painting 5
The final
painting