Many artists will tell you they do not know exactly how a painting is going to turn out when they begin as the picture speaks to them and guides their hand. This is certainly true for me. While I have a good idea of the bones of the picture, i.e. what the subject matter, main colors will be a lot is determined as I go.
In my treetop drawings after I sketch the basic trunk/branches onto the substrate (usually paper) I stand back and decide what the background will be. Now I normally have an idea about the background before I start but the composition may make demands; so I usually oblige.
Random numbers/random choices take the knowledge of the final piece out of your total control. In a lot of the works I use a grid pattern of some sort in the background. Why grids you ask? Well that is for a different post. Within the grid pattern I will frequently use a random number formula to determine which color to use. To generate the random number I use dice. I have four, six, eight, ten, twelve, and twenty sided dice to choose from. As I write I am doing this very thing in the studio.
The drawing in question, see above, has a two square thick grid around the edge of the paper as a sort of border. The colors to be used in the grid are light blue, dark blue, and lime green. I have chosen my six sided die to generate numbers and the formula is as follows:
- 1-3 = light blue
- 4-5 = dark blue
- 6 = lime green