Thursday, April 28, 2016


PAINT OUT LOUD is an "artumentary" of my new works from beginning to framed.

This is #2 in this series. I will be sharing  secrets and insights about my creative process.

I love to capture people enjoying great food and libations in little cafes.  I found this little coffee
shop on one of my photo adventures.

Deciding on the substrate and size of the piece, not only determines the foundation of a painting, but also
the tempo. I decided on an archival square panel, 12" x 12". I coated the panel with a two layers of yellow ochre, giving it
a warm base.  I then sketched the layout and some details directly with oil paint using
filbert brushes and flats.

I worked directly in oil for the initial sketch.

The coffee shop had a warm welcoming vibe.  The yellow base helped set the tone for this piece.
I kept the strokes very impressionistic and moved throughout the piece adding red
accents to maintain color continuity. I let some of the background color
show through the figures and the background.

I added more and more strokes to the figures and background and added
reflections to the floor.

The painting progressed easily. I kept changing the characters 
as I painted.  I lightened his hair color and changed his face. I  like to make my characters lovable. 
Each has a unique narrative lending to the paintings' story.

I continued honing each section of the painting and re-visiting the
characters until I felt they really spoke to each other and to me.   
When the painting is finished, the story is told by the viewer and his/her  personal interaction 
with the characters.

I used a lot of vertical impressionistic strokes on the background, varied the strokes
on the people and tables and used mostly horizontal strokes on the floor and reflections
with a variety of brushes. I softened some areas with Q-tips and my fingers!

Close up of cafe chairs.

I really wanted to express the beauty of these cafe chairs.  I did embellish
the colors and added in the sugar bowl - of course!

I emphasized the coffee cup poster in the frame above his head
to set the scene and make it fun. I changed his appearance and then 
  re-worked his chair. I was able to get the nice rounded effect of the chair back
with an American liner #1 brush .  I added the reflections on the floor with a shader brush. 
I love to use so many different brushes.  It gives variety to the strokes and always adds
some very interesting  results.

With thick strokes I re-painted the cups and glass on the table using very expressive strokes.
I added more highlights on her shirt and accentuated the light on the table behind her.

I added some details throughout the painting and as I have learned
it was time to put down the brushes and sign the painting.

"The Coffee Shoppe"
oil on archival panel, 12" x 12"

This painting is now available through my studio.

Hope you enjoyed this painting process.
I would love to hear from you.  Let me know your thoughts
insights and comments.

Thank you.


September McGee