Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Painting in Progress - Young Boy

I have been working on new portfolio pieces in preparation for the SCBWI Illustrators Day next month. Here are the preliminary sketch and finish of a scene from one of my manuscripts.

I work on tracing paper first because it is easy to check for drawing errors by looking at the reverse side of the tracing. Another way to check for accuracy is by looking at your sketch in the mirror. That’s how I find out that one eye is too high or other unintentional oddities. It’s also easy to transfer your drawing from tracing paper to paper or board or canvas. Then I’m ready to paint.

For this piece I painted gesso on Strathmore Wet Media heavyweight multipurpose paper, but didn’t stretch the paper first so there was slight buckling. I usually apply several coats of gesso to Bristol board. This works well for me when I paint with acrylics and doesn’t require stretching the paper.


  1. Lovely! I really like the mood of this painting - and the beautifully rendered sky. Thanks for sharing your technique. Interesting you use gesso first. I paint with acrylics - or sometimes acrylic gouache or gouache - directly on the paper if it's heavy enough.

  2. Thanks, Megan - I'm going to try acrylic directly on paper again! I haven't used gouache for years but have been meaning get back to it.