Creative Process & The Canon T5i

Recently I was approached by Canon to be a part of their True Originals campaign, a project showcasing various Canadian artists’ creative processes. I immediately jumped on board! I think it’s great that they want to feature the work of artists on their various outlets, and to top it off, I was given a Canon T5i to aid in documenting the way in which I create art.

One of the features of the camera that I’m particularly excited to try out is the HDR video recording. I’ve been wanting to make some high quality footage of how I paint, and now I’ll be able to give it a go. However, because of time constraints and the fact that I need to figure out video editing, I decided to document my creative process through the photos below.

The Process

Lately I’ve been inspired by old lithographs of birds like the kind you see in the famous Audubon books, and that’s what influenced me to create the subject matter of this painting. Typically, I like to start off with a detailed sketch; usually drawn digitally with my Cintiq in Photoshop. As you can see in the photo above on my second moniter, I have plenty of great references for my little warblers.

Once I’m happy with the sketch, I reduce the opacity of the line work to about 20% and then I print it directly on to watercolor paper. (I like to use hot pressed Fabriano paper.)

My painting medium of choice is gouache. It’s a water-based paint similar to watercolor, but more opaque. I find it can produce beautiful and vibrant colors!

I begin with the background elements like the branches and then the leaves.

Then I move on to painting the foreground objects, which are the birds.

To finish off the piece, I like to use pencil crayons to help define some of the edges.

And here’s the finished piece!

In terms of what fuels my creativity and passion for creating art, I’d have to say it’s as simple as wanting to make something memorable and beautiful. I think back to other artists’ work that have made a big impact on me, and I strive to make that same kind of affect on others with my art. Hope you enjoyed taking a peek into how I paint.

This post was created in partnership with Canon. For details about the Canon T5i, you can check out this link: #TrueOriginals

6 comments for “Creative Process & The Canon T5i

  1. Ann says:

    It’s so nice to see your creative process, Joy! I’ve been following your work for quite some time now and you’re always an inspiration for my own art!

  2. Harmony says:

    I’ve been following your art since….2006 or so? i got so excited when i saw your artwork on the wings of fire books at barnes and noble the other day! i’ve always been so fascinated with your art; its really nice to see your process! keep being amazing!

  3. Stephanie says:

    I think I might have just fallen in love with you! I love your process, thank you for sharing! You are a HUGE inspiration to me, and I wish I could be as beautiful an artist as you are! Thank you for being amazing!

  4. Simone Kurtz says:

    Thanks so much for sharing your process! It’s incredibly helpful. Just a question, though — what printer do you use in order to print on watercolor paper? I’d love to know; I’m an illustration student, so learning new tricks are great!

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