Light in the darkness

One of the things I had to reverse for Sky Pads 27 was my drawing. Since the background was so dark, I would never be able to see a projection of black drawing lines on it. So I flipped the white/black areas in Photoshop so the drawing lines would be white.

I always project drawings onto the canvas if the canvas is bigger than, say, 16″ x 20″. My rationale is, I’ve already drawn the subject once in a small, manageable size. So there’s no need to draw it from scratch again when I can just draw it on the canvas from a projection of my original drawing. No matter what, I can’t trace a photograph because unless I make an original drawing of it I miss a lot of detail. Drawing it helps me come to “know” the subject matter so when I start to paint there’s no confusion about any particular details.

Here’s the original drawing and the inverse version. I think the inverse is pretty interesting all on its own. My in-house art critic tried to convince me to leave the white lines as-is and stop now. I told him no way, even if he is a professor at the School of the Art Institute of  Chicago. He replied as he usually does, “You handle paint really well”. Thank goodness for that!


Here’s the painting progress so far. You can see the drawing lines on the left side where I’ll continue to let leaves make various degrees of appearance and definition.

Some leaves are braver than others

About Alli Farkas

Equine and landscape artist specializing in rural Americana
This entry was posted in art, landscape, oil paintings, painting techniques, Sky Pads and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to Light in the darkness

  1. chris ludke says:

    This painting is already speaking to me! I can tell it will be great! And I especially like your words, light in the darkness and some leaves are braver than others.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Alli Farkas says:

    Happy you’re having fun with it! Finding words can be difficult–most of the time I just wait around to see if interesting ones appear.


  3. anne leueen says:

    Thanks for giving us this part of the process. Fascinating.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Emma Cownie says:

    Yes some leaves are braver than others, like, Chris above, I think the painting already has a definite presence.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Nancy Powers says:

    Quite an education for me with this painting; I see now how the painting evolves from a drawing. I like the inverse, in itself. This has been very interesting to watch the latest Sky Pad unfold!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Alli Farkas says:

      I like the inverse a lot too. Reminds me of scratchboard art, where you have a panel covered in a dark waxy substance and make marks in it to uncover lighter shades underneath. We used to make them as kids, first laying down thick coats of crayon colors, covering them with another thick coat of black crayon, then scratching drawings into the black to reveal the hidden colors. Nowadays you can buy already prepared scratchboard and just have a go at it.


  6. Cool to learn how you do larger paintings. Make sense to inverse the smaller drawing in Photoshop. As for the painting itself, it’s already coming out beautifully. Look forward to seeing it completed. Furthermore, I hope you see some light in these dark times.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. jofox2108 says:

    This is looking SO good!


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