Painting a series can mean several things. The very basis is that there is a central theme to create a group work. It can relate to a season of the year, a much-loved subject, color or emotion. Whether it is as obvious as a group of cat portraits or as obscure as a philosophical concept expressed in paint, there is a theme.
Choose Your Weapon
The first item on the agenda is selecting the main theme of the series. If painting in series is a new experience, choose something with which you are knowledgeable, comfortable and have access to ample resource material. Do not select an esoteric topic of inquiry that will end up being an exercise in frustration. Save that for later, when experience and technical proficiency make painting the least of the challenges. It is also of importance to choose something you love. If one considers painting a theme numerous times, it only makes sense to paint something that brings enjoyment. When the painting becomes an onerous task, it is time to change direction.
Know Your Enemy
Regardless of an artist’s current knowledge, there is always more to learn about a subject. Painting a series requires that the artist pursue the theme from multiple angles. Intimate understanding of a topic frees the student to view it from points that may only be seen with a wide diversity of information. Learn how an item is made and what goes into it. Learn the history of a place and its importance in history. View the subject in its natural habitat and observe how it grows, thrives and dies. The more the artist knows, the more he can convey to his audience. Research is crucial to a portraying a well-rounded theme. Being knowledgeable about a theme will show in the work the artist produces.
Focus On The Subject Matter
There is no limit to what the artist chooses as his series theme. Some are natural and easy for the artist to create a range of variations on the theme, while others trying ordeals. Exploring the types of themes can be an interesting look at one’s self as well as physical topics of subject matter.
Do not just grab the first thought that comes to mind. Make a list of potential themes and write out some thoughts on each subject. In writing down ideas, the artist is developing the scope of his work, perhaps listing the positive and negative aspects of the project. Doing some brainstorming before committing to a project is a sound idea that can save time and indecision in the end.
One way to approach a series could be portraying a story or series of events through paintings that follow a timeline. This could include a person, place or even an object.
Follow a person’s life with a series of painting depicting the person over the expanse of his lifetime. This could include highlights of their life as part of the background or objects found within the paintings.
The history of a place might be shown through a time period, if it is of historical significance, or enough local lore to back up the...