When I begin working on my paintings, usually the artwork begins with pen on paper. I write down my ideas and whittle it down to which ideas inspire me the most. When You create a body of work, remember that you will be painting within the same theme for a long long time. So, it had better be a good one. If you don’t enjoy your idea, painting will become a chore instead of a joy.
After I have chosen which idea I want to go forward with, then I sit down with my notebook and calendar to begin charting my next steps. Some of the questions I ask myself are:
- How many pieces would I love to create?
- What sizes and shapes of canvas would I like to see in this collection?
- What element or idea would be the underlying theme that ties the works together?
- What would keep the cohesion, but also create a bit of diversity so that the collection dose not stagnate?
Now to add the deadlines. Crack open a calendar and start outlining approximately how long each piece will take to make and set deadlines per each week for the different stages of the paintings. If you don’t plan it out, the time could slip away while you’re not looking causing your works to be behind schedule. It also helps to set aside the days and times that you will be working on the pieces.
Next, create rough outlines and sketches on what shapes, colors, and dynamics that you would like your body of work to have. Are you telling a story? Playing with a color pallet? Making a statement? Figure out what you want to say before you say it. By having an underlying theme, you can create some amazing unity between your pieces. You want to guide your viewers from piece to piece. Introduce excitement, interest, feeling and mood.
Be sure to ask yourself when planning what will make your collection unique or special. Try to challenge yourself. Choose a reason behind the subject matter. Learn to tie the works together as a whole. The more questions you propose and answer ahead of time, the more your work will show clarity and purpose.