Concept Sketch for My First #wildwomanportrait

Mixed Media Collage

In an effort to loosen up in my creative practice and put more energy into painting, I am trying some new processes in my sketchbooks. Normally, I would spend a long time on sketches, concept planning, and note-taking.
This collage is my first attempt to shift gears and put more effort into capturing the idea and less effort into detailing and perfection in a concept sketch.

I still put quite a bit of time into it – old habits die hard – but I was able to concentrate on capturing all of the individual elements and work out composition and color rather than getting bogged down in notes and technical concerns. Those things tend to be the least likely to show through in the completed work, so I am trying to put my focus where it will better serve my concept.

I have been learning to enjoy using markers as part of the process and simultaneously letting of the need to have my preliminary sketches look perfect. I’m not going to use markers as a fine art medium, so it was not as difficult to loosen up with them as I expected.
I am currently working with three sets that came in nice carrying cases according to hues that my husband gave me for Christmas last year, as well as a multi-color set that came in a gift package from my art group Christmas party last year. Having sets by two different companies has provided me with a wide range of colors, giving me the ability to work out relatively realistic color concepts.

For this concept sketch, I printed various photo references from my recent trip, a photo shoot with my #wildwoman partner, and a patron of mine who sends me reference photos periodically. I used simple B+W photocopies, collaged the elements into my sketchbook, then used the markers for the larger color fields. Small details were added quickly with gel pens to finish off the concept sketch.
I will post about the story behind this first #wildwomanportrait once I am working on the painting.

Do you have a process for capturing painting concepts, or do you start directly on the canvas?

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