John D Wilson
“Out of the ashes rose the Phoenix……” My palette is a mess, my paint box is a mess, I somehow end up splashing paint over everything including myself, and yet a clean, sharp picture emerges out of it all! That’s probably one of the reasons I enjoy painting so much - the fact that out of all this chaos, there’s really a hidden sense of order within it all.
A few years ago I worked exclusively in watercolour, but when one of the paintings I was working on required a stronger colour, I was forced to experiment with a less familiar type of paint. So I bought a tube of gouache, and the rest, as they say, is history! That one tube resulted in a change in the whole way I painted - to the point that 90% of what I now do is in gouache.
I usually start with a very small rough sketch, which I then enlarge onto my full size heavy watercolour paper. I do very little pencil work here, just enough to mark out the perspective. I prefer to work freehand with the paint straight onto the paper and see what emerges.
When doing a painting that incorporates children’s art, I use wax crayon, and although I’m right handed, to get the desired effect I tend to use my left hand. A painting can take me anywhere from one afternoon, to 4 days to complete, depending upon the amount of detail. And these can often be pretty long days! But once I’m immersed within my painting, I don’t tend to realise what the time is! At various stages throughout a picture, however, I need to stop and take a step back from it, just to make sure that it is developing as I had envisaged. On the satisfactory completion of a painting I will give it a title and then finally photograph it for my own records.