Just ahead of his solo show at LE Gallery entitled “Entropical Paradise” (previewed with studio visit), AM brings you a glimpse of how Tristram Lansdowne typically puts together one of his pieces. We asked Tristram if he would record some details of his artistic process for us – he did just that, and you can see the stages of one of his paintings coming together along with a some words from the artist after the jump.

I spend a lot of time wandering around taking photos in empty areas of the city, and then work from the photos I take. Sometimes, the buildings I see give me an idea for a painting and sometimes I have to go looking for a subject that fits my idea. In this case, I started with a little thumbnail sketch, just a scribbly train-of-thought drawing.

I drew it out again to get the general idea and the proportions sorted out. Then I went looking for a fence that would work. I found a chain-link fence with construction fabric on it a few blocks from the studio that looked good so I photographed it from a few different angles and times of day and then shuffled the images into a rough sort of collage.

I use rolls of watercolour paper, which I soak and then stretch on drawing boards with brown paper tape and thumbtacks.

Using my photos as reference, I drew out the fence. I then used masking fluid to cover the edges of it and painted a big puffy cloud in the background. I guess I left the masking fluid on too long because the masked area had yellowed when I took the fluid off. Not a serious problem though. From there I painted the fence from left to right, just working my way across.

The graffiti is always tricky, but also a lot of fun. For complicated areas with a lot of white spaces I usually block in the colour with a light wash and then erase the pencil marks. After that its easier to see where I’m going.

Inching along… more graffiti…

Here it is all finished. I leave it on the board for a couple days to make sure it’s completely dry before I cut it off just to make sure the paper doesn’t warp.

Many thanks to Tristram for taking the time to photograph the work and put the words together for us.

Discuss Tristram Lansdowne here.
Discuss this show here.