The process

Here I show some projects with the process from idea and sketch to finished painting. If you are wondering about any of it, or have other questions about what I do, then just get in touch.  Click on the pictures to get them in full size.

Balder in pastel

Balder is a proud ram living in Askvoll municipality. I was asked if I could portray him in soft pastel. An exciting assignment, since I have mainly made my portraits in acrylic and watercolor. But, I have drawn a lot, and soft pastel is a kind of cross between drawing and painting. I was sure it would be fun and that I was going to pull it off. I got several pictures of Balder, so I could get to know him well from several angles. I sketched a little loosely before I drew a draft with charcoal pencil on gray heavy paper which is made for pastel. Then I added colors, using the same colour-theory as when painting. The trick is to use warm and cold colors consciously to add depth to the subject.

Dalmatians in linocut

Linoleum printing is a very fun, but time consuming technique. Most people have probably tried some form of linoleum printing at school, and know that one must think "the other way around" when making a printing plate. First, the finished result is naturally mirrored by what you draw. In addition, it will be what you do not cut off the plate that will show in the print. When I start this process, it is like in all other techniques; to get to know the motif and make some sketches. When I then decide on a motif, and have drawn it the way I want it, I transfer it to the linoleum board with the help of sandwich paper. Then starting the job with the linoleum is to cut away what I want to be white in the final result. Cutting linoleum is heavy. In addition, one must be very accurate. If I cut incorrectly, it is not possible to repair it. When I have removed what will be the white in the finished image, I print the first print with colour. I like everyone to be different, so I change the colour between each print. After printing on paper as many editions as I want, usually around 30 pieces, the next round of cutting in the linoleum starts. Now all linoleum will go away with the exception of what will be black on the finished print. Finally, I press all prints again, making sure to position it the same as the first time, for it to become correct.

Birds in liquid acrylic

I discovered an exciting product on one of my visits to "art supplies paradise", large stores in Paris with everything imaginable of equipment. Liquid acrylic is like ink with a strong colour. It is water soluble so you can create lots of exciting effects by letting the colors flow into each other with or without water added. I used this to create the backgrounds of my birds first. Then I painted the birds with the same colours.

Goats in acrylic

Goats are one of my favorite animals. They are so smart and funny. These two were an assignment I got from a goat farmer. I got a photo of her animals, and selected a section of one of the photos that I worked on. I made some sketches, then I drew the desired motif on strong watercolor paper. For this painting I used acrylic paint. First I made the background with liquid acrylic, then I used regular acrylic paint and a slightly large brush for the rest. The reason I used a large brush was that I did not want a very picky painting.

Deer in acrylic

I have made several portraits of deer, in different techniques and sizes. This was an order for a large deer for a cabin. The canvas is 90x120cm. In this case, I first painted the background in dark colours, with some shades that are supposed to represent forests at night. Then I drew the deer on a large piece of paper, and then transferred it to the canvas. The reason I first drew it on paper is both because of the dark background and because it is easy to destroy the background if I have to erase some of the lines. So to transfer the deer to the canvas, I used the type of paper one uses when sewing, and white charcoal for transfer. Then I could start giving the deer shape and life using colors.

Calf in acrylic, 2 different in the same technique

For these calves I have used the same procedure as for the goats in acrylic. Sketches that end in a choice of motif that I draw on heavy watercolor paper. Then background colors in liquid acrylic before I paint the motif with acrylic and a large brush.

Crow in acrylic

The crow here is made in the same technique as the goats and calves in acrylic. Sketches that end in a choice of motif that I draw on heavy watercolor paper. Then background colors in liquid acrylic before I paint the motif with acrylic and a large brush.

Cow in watercolour

When I paint these portraits of mine in watercolor, I have chosen not to make an equally thorough drawing on the watercolor sheet as I do when I paint with acrylic. The reason for this is that the watercolor is transparent, and the drawing will show through. This is sometimes nice, and becomes part of the painting, but in these cases I wanted pure watercolour and not a mixed technique with watercolour and drawing. In addition, watercolour is more difficult than acrylic in that you cannot paint over if you have made a mistake, or changed your mind during the process. Thus, the sketches in advance are more important, because I have to hit on the first try. Some "accidents" are lucky and become a nice part of the finished painting. In this way, watercolour is much more exciting to work with. I start with a loose sketch on the watercolour sheet.  I then "build" the painting with the help of very many layers of watercolour in different colours. This gives a depth in the painting, and the last layers that are more detailed will make the motif apear to come "out of" the picture.

Libra and Pus in acrylic

Libra and Pus are painted with acrylic on canvas. Like all other portraits, I started here with some sketches to get to know the motifs. I painted these two at the same time with the idea that they could be connected in color and expression. I drew them on the canvas and primed with a light earth tone, a mixture of different colors. Then began the process of painting portraits and backgrounds at the same time.