Making of “Swingout in Autumn”


Here’s a little documentation of how I made this painting: Swingout in Autumn.

Christopher Clark, Fine Artist - Swingout in Autumn original painting

I find I use a lot more home-improvement and construction-grade materials than I do actual art supplies. Which allows me to be a bit more creative, and ensures that my materials are of very high quality and durability.

I start with wood paneling that I have custom cut to the size of the final piece. In this case, 48″ x 24″. I attach 1″ x 4″ strips of wood to the back to create a brace, and also to “float” the piece off the wall when it is finished and hung. Quite a lovely effect.

Christopher Clark, Fine Artist - making a painting

Through years of diligent development, I have created a custom plaster medium which I apply over the entire surface of the wood panel – front and sides.

Christopher Clark, Fine Artist - making a painting

Here’s the finished texture. This not only seals the wood, but provides a rich and decadent texture to paint over. It adds so much dimension to the painting. Plus it allows me to play with it and create effects like a “frame”, which you see around the edges of many of my pieces.

Christopher Clark, Fine Artist - making a painting

I then lay down a base coat of a nice bright color. I use many, many layers of translucent color when creating a painting. This creates a kind of stained-glass effect on the finished piece. I learned a lot from studying the master Maxfield Parrish, who talked much about the way light travels through the layers of paint, creating color effects not possibly by simply mixing colors on the palette.

Christopher Clark, Fine Artist - making a painting

For example: with the white surface of the texture, then this translucent coat of yellow on top, then another translucent layer of red on top of that, I would get all sorts of wonderful shades of orange, yellows, and reds that would not been possible had I simply mixed red and yellow on the palette.

Christopher Clark, Fine Artist - making a painting

This technique means fully letting each layer of paint dry before applying the next, as to not mix the wet paints together. Again, think of holding different colors of stained glass up to a window, and seeing the resulting color as light passes through. This is my ultimate goal when I begin to realize a painting.

Christopher Clark, Fine Artist - making a painting

Christopher Clark, Fine Artist - making a painting

Here I have lightly penciled in the full scene. I then begin to layer paint on slowly over the whole piece, over and over again.

Christopher Clark, Fine Artist - making a painting

Christopher Clark, Fine Artist - making a painting

Christopher Clark, Fine Artist - making a painting

Christopher Clark, Fine Artist - making a painting

Christopher Clark, Fine Artist - making a painting

Christopher Clark, Fine Artist - making a painting

Christopher Clark, Fine Artist - making a painting

Here is the finished piece. Far from the original yellow coat I first used. But as light travels through the many layers of paint, the yellow coat influences all the other colors to help unify the overall color palette. It also creates subtle lighting effects that just make me all giggly.

Christopher Clark, Fine Artist - making a painting

Brown paper packages wrapped up in string – these are a few of my favorite things! This is how your piece will be delivered to you. It’s like Christmas! Or Hanukkah! Or your birthday! Or anniversary! Or any other gift-giving, present-unwrapping event that works for you!

Christopher Clark, Fine Artist - making a painting

Here’s the finished piece, hanging on the wall of Tim and Joanna. As you can see, no frame needed, all my paintings are complete and ready to hang. This piece was Tim’s gift to Joanna as an anniversary present. Happy anniversary guys!

If you would like a custom painting created for you of any subject for any occasion, please contact me.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.