Person Crying While Reading a Book

A lot of work goes into a painting. I don’t just mean the actual painting either. There is a reason why many of my courses have maybe four major assignments due during a school semester. I’ve kept track of my progress from start to finish of one of my assignments to hopefully give you an idea of what goes into making just one art piece.

Step One: Assignment

The first step whether in school or at work is to be given your assignment. I was given the choice of several scenarios in which we wanted to show emotion. I chose to paint an image which showed a person crying while they were reading a book.

Step Two: Idea Generation

Now that I had chosen my specific topic it was on to pondering how I was going to do it. Would I try and really get those feels going or maybe make it more comical? While I wanted to make the image quite comical my teacher had me stay on the side of sad.


Step Three: Thumbnails/Value Studies

From here I began to pick out my favorite thumbnails and fine tune them. I chose a scene where we see a female reading her book from a lower point of view. In one hand is her book while the other she is holding her pet cat. Along the floor are several romance novels as well as a tissue box and strewn about tissues. This is where I would go out and begin to find my references. Thanks to my roommate at the time for posing for this one! I often search Pinterest for images as I find I get better quality and often stumble upon the perfect image quite by accident. In reality I would prefer to take my own photos for everything it just isn’t practical for me yet. I guess if I was feeling really gutsy I might have ventured out to a local furniture store and photographed the perfect couch, book case, drapery, and so on but that just isn’t me. I spent extra time instead looking for ways to make the image have a more cozy so I included little things like hand crocheted couch decor and of course the ever faithful pet. I felt that having the couch be for one person helped imply her activity was personal and done in the comfort and privacy of her home, her space.  All while this was going on I was thinking about color. If I remember correctly this piece had to be analogous so while I chose blue as my main color any color near it on the color wheel could be used.

Step Four: Paint It

Now for the fun part. Painting it. This picture was done with acrylic paint on gessoed illustration board. I put in the basic values first and then went over with many thin layers to control the colors. Especially in the background. I wanted there to be lots of information like her book case but didn’t want it to distract from the main focal point. As an added piece of fun I decided to be the “author” of the romance cover you see along the bottom of the painting. 🙂


Step Five: Review and Revise

At this point I turned in the assignment. We did an in class critique and I also got feedback from my instructor about where my strengths and weaknesses were for this piece. I had a fun time working on this particular assignment and I wish I had taken more pictures as I painted it.

Thanks for taking the time to read my post. Comment, like, and share if you liked it.


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