My Creative Process

I constantly have ideas running through my head and in a perfect world I would have time to do all of them. I am going to share with you an example of how an idea evolves and what it takes to accomplish it from start to finish. Here we go :)


One of my favorite themes that I always go back to is the ocean. It is a place very dear to my heart because I spent childhood summers there with my family. One day I had this idea of painting a woman underwater with pretty heels on. So the first step is sketching the idea roughly so it makes its way from your mind onto paper. This step is really crucial because it's like you're giving birth to the idea. After a quick celebration, I develop it a little further and this time I do a colored pencil sketch because I want to get a feel of the mood I'm trying to achieve. It sets the tone for color and brings it alive a little bit.

Reference Shots

Now's the fun part! It's always smart to collect as many reference shots as you can - it can be something you see on Pinterest or I find is an even better experience when you take your own photography. For this particular piece, I took my own photography with a tripod :) and the challenge was getting the feel of the skirt underwater in a shot. So I was twirling it around and it worked after like 50 takes I got the right one. Then came the red shoes - I did some research on shoes because I didn't own a pair of fancy red heels with straps. I went to the store and tried on a few (I know, what a terrible way to spend my time). I took some photos of myself sitting on the floor with them on and probably looked like a fool, but it's okay. Sometimes you put yourself in silly situations to achieve what you want.

Let's Paint!

Now that I have gotten the sketches done and photos with the correct lighting I wanted, onto painting. This process always starts a little rough because I am so impatient. I should mention that I used oil paint for this particular illustration and it's one of my favorite mediums but it takes a long time to complete. The reason being that it needs time to dry - each time you add a layer, you must let it sit for a day at least before you apply the next layer of paint. I love the vibrant colors that you can achieve with oils and it's exactly what I did with this piece. 

I hope you enjoyed the process and for me it's so great to share with you one of the ways I paint an idea. Documenting this also helps me realize to trust the process and makes me a little more patient. 

Laerta Premto