Friday, December 14, 2007

Mary and the Babe~ The Painting Process

My husband requested a painting for our church's Christmas Eve program and order of service for the bulletin. So, I asked him to find a photo or a painting of something he had in mind. He chose Roberto Feruzzi's painting entitled "Madonnina"! No pressure there! He said, not to worry, just to make it look like the faces I paint...well, that's all I CAN do!

Here is Roberto Feruzzi's beautiful painting and click HERE to read about the story behind it.
(I can't seem to get Mr. Feruzzi's painting to enlarge, so please visit the website for a larger view.)

I thought I'd take you through my painting process.
(I was told this didn't sound boring when I mentioned to my friend I was thinking about blogging about this! So......we'll see how many click on through!).

Now please remember, I'm self-taught, and this is just my way of doing things. I'm sure a trained artist would chuckle at my process, but it works for me!

When I start a painting, I always start by drawing my subject. I wish I could just "paint what's in my head", but I have to visually see something to draw it. So I will usually look at another painting, photo, or take several objects from several paintings and compile a composition.

Since my husband really liked Madonnina, I didn't change too much of the positioning and composition. Here is my drawing based on the painting:

I then use that drawing and trace it onto my canvas. So when a customer requests a painting that has previously sold, I still have the drawing to use for their painting.....(but no two paintings are ever alike, and as you can see in the photos, my painting isn't exactly like my it's a "varied" art!).

And now the painting begins! I usually paint the background first, (bringing the paint around the sides), and then paint one part at a time. For example, on this painting, I painted the cape then the the scarf, then the faces.

After I "think" I'm finished with it...I tend to look at it for a few days and tweak it here and there. Then I seal it and it HAS to be done! going back after that!

So, not too scientific, or secretive...just my simple process. And now my husband has some artwork for his Christmas program!

It is freezing here, literally! (I think tomorrow's high is 32!). Stay warm, and have a great weekend!


Ruth Welter said...

Suzanne, your painting came out just beautiful. Love the faces!!! Nobody would chuckle at your work, it is always wonderful. Besides, it doesn't matter what type of artist you are or where and how you learned, we all do things differently and employ our own little tricks that we like to use. To me, the end result is what always counts.

Miss Maddie's said...

It's perfect!I just adore the soft gentle colors.It's something about the eyes in your paintings that I find so captivating, enhanced by those oh so delicate lashes.
Have a wonderful weekend and cuddle for warmth.

Sunnie said...

Hi Suzanne...the painting is just wonderful and I like the description of how you do your work! I do the same with rugs... just get an idea, draw on the backing and then change and design as I go along!! It's fun to just let the ideas flow!!!
We're pretty cold and snowy here too and due to get more snow this Sunday!! Brrrr! Stay warm! Hugs, Sunnie : )

PAT said...

It's beautiful Suzanne. I absolutely love the pencil sketch too! Wonderful!


Nana said...

Suz, your faces are breath taking, heart stopping. Wonderfully executed. You must all be well pleased.

Cathy ~ Tadpoles and Teacups said...

Cool! I often keep a sketch of things I paint also.

Lana said...

Oh Suzanne....... this is beautiful!

FrenchGardenHouse said...

Suzanne, it's beautiful!
xo Lidy

Lorraine said...

Oh, how beautiful, Suzanne!! Thanks for sharing how you make your masterpieces:o)!
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Donna said...

Suzanne, your painting is wonderful and the sketch is too!
Donna :)

Lorraine said...

Love it!

Eccentricities Studio said...


Your painting is breathtaking! I love it ... and I'm always so intrigued with the information you share on your blog about not only your own work, but the work of past painters as well.

Wanted to wish you and your family a blessed Christmas and a wonderful New Year, too!


Wendy said...

Your painting is beautiful Suzanne! I'm not a painter but I enjoyed reading about the process you go thru:)

The Feathered Nest said...

Suzanne, It's been crazy around here and I'm catching up with you now!

It was really interesting to read about your process and your painting turned out so beautiful. Your husband must be so pleased!


Plain-n-Simple! said...

I love your painting, and scetch, the comfort and serenity on the sweet babys face can truly be seen. I loved reading about your process, and i am not a 'real' painter. Thank You so very much for sharing with us!!!! Lovely painting!!!
Big Hugs, and stay warm,
Jackie said...

magical !!! What a lovely piece !!! XO Mica from Garb-oodles

Cathy ~ Tadpoles and Teacups said...

Just wanted to stop by and wish you a Merry Christmas!
Blessings to you,

Southern Heart said...

Suzanne, I think that it turned out so well! It's beautiful!!

~~kattz*cottage~~ said...

Hi Suzanne!
What a precious & lovely painting! I loved reading all about the process you use for painting - that's so interesting & you are so talented. Just beautiful!


kat449 said...

Hi Suzanne,
I just found your blog. I am in awe of your creation. simply elegant. Im also a self taught primitive painter, and understand your "process" without formal education. No excuses. Your spirit just shines through your work. great job and thank you for sharing such a personal part of yourself. Fondly, Kat (Scaredy Kat Folkheart)

Sylvia Anderson said...

It's just beautiful Suzanne!! I think you did the original justice, and added your own special touches! :)

Anonymous said...

Our Lady of the Streets is one of my favorite paintings of baby Jesus and His holy Mother. I didn't think I would ever like someone messin' with it, but it is lovely.