How Brianna Reagan creates her works, from conception to completion
I have never been short on ideas, only short on time. Welcome to my madness.
I often get asked where my ideas come from, and truthfully they come from anywhere; from reading, from music, from podcasts (lately), from solo jogs and walking the dogs, and yes, even from a damn bumper sticker once. I try to get a scribble down (I’ve started carrying pocket-sized sketchbooks), or at least write it down before I lose it.
Doing so also makes room for more.
I’m extremely curious about the natural world, so my mind is most open to explore themes of nature. One idea is often the impetus for another. Sometimes I encourage this, and employ my mind to make connections within the whirlwind. Always, I strive to intentionally make something unfamiliar in something familiar. It’s what makes me so excited to make art.
My art is about connection, about the relationship between objects or characters, and about the journey from concept to completed work of art. My art also connects me to my obsessive need for details and profound need for visual order. The details are then an outlet for these compulsive energies, allowing me to connect uniquely with each work of art.
My paintings are applied to a wood surface or panel, with hand drawn details in inks, markers, or color pencils. The mixed media approach further complements the combination of ideas and captures more details and intricacies of the character or object, while also satisfying my compulsive energy.
Prep the Wood
I sand the surface lightly remove any residue or blemishes.
I develop the composition on layers of tracing paper.
The sketch is traced onto the wood using carbon paper
Outlines & Blocking
I usually start by outlining the pencil lines and blocking in some colors, using acrylics.
Some pieces have a painted background. I often apply washes of acrylic paint before the wood is sealed.
Base layers are often acrylic, but often include gouache, watercolors, pencils and inks.
The details come out with final layers, typically in inks.
The kiddos are my studio-mates.
Prime the Wood
I apply 2-3 coats of clear gesso, and sand in between and after to knock down the toothiness.
I make decisions, as needed, on the tracing paper sketch, and sometimes use layers of paper to compose the piece.
or sometimes Projected
If the concept doesn't require high details lined out, I sometimes use a projector.
I build up the imagery using layers and layers.
A bit of Whimsy
One of my favorite effects is to "erase" the paint with splatters of water on fresh paint.
Ink is my favorite.
Using India ink or acrylic ink, I apply details with a dip pen.
Ink for Dayz...
Okay, I totally chase the details...
Curating a Show
I "collect" my ideas on scraps of paper, napkins, in sketchbooks, and in lists. I then intentionally curate the concepts together into what I think will be a cohesive show. I do this when I have a solo show coming up, to focus on the art that needs to be made.