Early Bird Coffee Sketch Wip

As I’m working on the painting, I thought to share with you how I made the sketch for it.

20170707_111638Everything starts with my sketchbooks. In the last year, I found it useful to work on 2 or 3 sketchbooks in the same time instead of turning pages. My sketch books are like my encyclopedia. Each time I do research or I’m looking for new ideas, I put everything in there. I take notes, translations of words, quick doodle of ideas or symbols. A small doodle of yesterday can become a painting in a couple of months. I always work with a 4H graphite pencil so sorry for the lack of contrast.


So this is a typical way I start brainstorming for an idea. I didn’t want to work on my quack medicine yet, I just wanted something simple. I found this page where I wrote a few notes a couple month ago. I felt inspired by doing something about coffee. So I start finding inspiration on Pinterest.



On another sketchbook I’ve started writing texts I could write on it and doodling some ideas. I quickly drew them with borders until I find something I like. Then I sketch the small border and refine it until it looks good.

Since I now have a good idea where I’m going, it’s time to make the final sketch. I start with characters because they are the heart of my paintings so they must be good.

Then I work on the borders with typos. While doing it, I keep looking in my image bank for inspiration and I try to not forget sizes of wood panel I have here. If it doesn’t fit exactly a wood panel, I’ll make some resizing later. I usually make the big typos by hand but the small ones are made with computer.


Now that I have everything I need, time to scan the sketches and to go in Illustrator and Photoshop! First I redo the borders and typos in Illustrator. This is easier to make a symmetrical border and I can find a perfect wood panel size and adjust it if needed. I prefer to work typos here because I can vectorise existing typos and play with them.


Now I import the lines in Photoshop and put the leaves and characters on it. These are the outlines I’ll use for my paintings. Sometimes when I’m not sure about what color palette to use, I make some color tests in Photoshop with this document and keep it as a guide.

So, this is how I always prepare my paintings. Unless if it’s a very small canvas I can trace on it, I always proceed like that. It may look tedious but when I start putting paint on a canvas, I need that everything is decided. I really hate the feeling of hating a work you’ve just done because it’s not centered or the proportions are wrong. Sometimes I would love to be like those artists who can start directly on canvas and just let things happen. I guess I’m too cartesian for it!

Early Bird CoffeeAnd here’s the results! You can see how much the painting looks like the color tests. Only the background have a blue tint in it. For the painting execution, the process is basically the same than the last post. I hope this post was helpful in any way and let me know if there’s some subjects you want me to post about! 🙂