The Making of My Painting “Last Row” – The Process and Realizations

May 20, 2015

I have always been fascinated with the process of making something even more than the finished product. This has translated into my artwork and as much as I love seeing my painting hanging nice and neat on a wall, recording and sharing the process behind it is almost more satisfying for me.

That being said, here is one of my favourite paintings “Last Row” from my Cut-Out Series – from thought to finish. I will let the pictures do the talking. FYI: See my comments after the slideshow. The process of putting this article together made me realize some things I had not considered as an artist.

To see the video we did of the making of the ‘sister’ to this painting “Outside the Box” [my very first Cut-Out], click here.

If you love watching these step by step painting videos as much as I do, I have a whole playlist of the ones we have done. Click here.

STEP 1 - BLANK SHEET OF PLYWOOD
STEP 2 - DRAW THE SHAPE
STEP 3 - CUT OFF THE EXCESS 'SKY'
STEP 4 - PREP STRAPPING FOR BACK OF PAINTING
STEP 5 - INSTALL SUPPORT STRAPPING
STEP 6 - SECURE STRAPPING
STEP 7 - PRIMED 'CANVAS' READY TO GO
STEP 8 - DETAILED DRAWING
STEP 9 - START PAINTING
STEP 10 - PAINT MORE
STEP 11 - PAINTING GETTING THERE
STEP 12 - BACK TO THE SHOP FOR FINISHING
STEP 13 - PRIMING BACK OF PAINTING
STEP 14 - EDGING PAINTING
STEP 15 - MIXING BEER CAP OF SIGNING PAINT
STEP 17 - MEANS PAINTING IS FINISHED
STEP 18 - VARNISHING FOR PROTECTION
STEP 19 - VARNISHING FOR COLOUR POP
STEP 21 - DISPLAYED IN BIANCA'S

The original painting has been sold.

To purchase prints of “Last Row”, click here.

After committing to finally putting together this story of the process (which I knew would be a fair amount of work once I found and organized the pictures; renamed all the files properly and in chronological steps; properly sized them; decided on the way to present the story; wrote the copy; watched the timelapse videos we made that I haven’t seen in awhile (cool for me to see again); endless editing to make the article clean and simple), I realize that doing one Cut-Out painting takes a hell of a lot of work!

I knew it was a lot of work but instead of just “knowing it”, I decided to put facts to paper and calculate approximately how much effort went into this one painting (and we’ve done lots of these paintings and projects over the years, let me tell ya). The business artist in me is interested to see how much time this one piece actually took and what the ROI (return on investment) is on selling this piece. I’m almost afraid to calculate *nail biting although I don’t bite my nails* but usually information is gold, right?

Bell Island photoshoot of original reference photograph 8 hrs
Thought behind ‘how to tackle this’ 10 hrs
Buy plywood and supplies 1 hr
Shop set-up & ‘how to’ discussion 2 hrs
Initial drawing 1 hr
Cutting of plywood & strapping 2 hrs
Install of strapping 2 hrs
In studio – detailed drawing 1 hr
Painting 6 hrs
Priming of back of painting 1 hr
Edging & signing of painting 1 hr
Hi-res photography of original 1 hr
Colour balancing of photo 2 hrs
Varnishing of painting – twice 2 hrs
Wire painting for hanging 1 hr
Clean up 1 hr
Sharing process & chatting on social media 5 hrs
Arranging and hanging at Bianca’s 2 hrs
Promoting selling of painting and prints 3 hrs
Miscellaneous/untrackable 10 hrs
Writing blog article 6 hrs [so far]

TOTAL 70 hrs!!

Note: And this doesn’t include Besh’s time doing a lot of these steps with me.

ROI: So at 75 hours at the price of $5600 for the original, I am making $75/hr…once it sells. Until then, 75 hours get written off as ‘time invested’ and we wait (and promote). Meanwhile, the sale of prints eases the wait for the sale of the original. I set up my business that way for just this reason. Art takes time. A lot of time sometimes.

So now that I (and you) know all the work that goes into one painting, I will now shamelessly ask for your assistance to support the arts 🙂 Please feel free to share this article (using the little icons below here) with anyone who:

  1. would find it interesting
  2. is in the same field and could use this info
  3. purchases original paintings
  4. is looking for unique prints for their office or home
  5. is on your social networks i.e. Facebook, Twitter, etc. – share away! using those little icons at the bottom of the article

And please use the comment section below to ask questions and make comments. Would love to hear your thoughts. This has been a very insightful article for me to write. Eye opening.

kapb_headshot_-_rounded_cornersArtist Keli-Ann Pye-Beshara – Experience Newfoundland & life through my artist eyes. Born and raised here on this big rock in the Atlantic Ocean. After my Fine Arts degree and Interior Decorating, lived away for ages. In 2009 moved back with new appreciation for this place. Come hang out and explore with me. Sign up for your Piece of Pye newsletter & art prizes!