About the sketching process
Ruth’s approach to sketching has evolved over the years.
The energy and enthusiasm of before has melted into a relaxed but meticulous approach. Ruth now spends more time making sure the sketch is exactly how she wants it, before moving on to the painting.
After perfecting her initial sketch, Ruth will go back to the studio and prime her paper. She uses an acrylic primer to give the paper an extra layer and ensure the paint doesn’t sink in.
The next stage in the process is faster – with Ruth quickly sketching her outline and then building her drawing in layers.
A fascinating problem all artists face is when to finish a piece – which brushstroke should be the last? As Ruth’s style has developed, she finds this knowledge comes naturally. “Years ago, I used to be in such a rush to finish things,” she explains. “Now, I seem to know what’s needed and it just feels intuitive.”
“These days, I’ll either have an idea fermenting inside or I wake up in the night and things come to me,” says Ruth of her creative process.
She then takes to her sketchpad for some preliminary sketches and begins to paint.
Sometimes, Ruth has a vision for how the completed piece will look – other times she is surprised by what she creates.
The therapeutic nature of her art is especially strong when Ruth draws still lives. The act of staring closely at the objects is calming and she has created a series of delicate paintings of feathers, flowers and household objects.
However, Ruth doesn’t always need a subject in front of her, admitting that many of her ideas come from inside. In her own words: “The whole process is a bit of a journey – like life – and it changes as you change.”