Rebecca Green (2/4)

Rebecca Green from Michigan, United States, makes such beautiful illustrations. They often feature cute girls with glasses, but also animals and nature, as she’s fond of all these. She lets us have a peek at how she works and lives.

Process is an extraordinary thing. Every artist has his own unique way of approaching work, and from my experience, it’s best to understand the way you work, harness it, and run with it. When I first began, I thought the process should be even across the board. At least fifteen thumbnails. Narrow down three sketches. Sketch a final. Overlay tracing paper. See what works. Nail down lines and then paint methodically.

But the more I work, the more I understand about myself, and it’s freeing to find that I can create my own process. Most of my paintings come fresh onto the board, with mere preliminary thoughts, maybe one simple line sketch. The more I plan for a piece, the more it seems to lack in spontaneity, so I love to start with an openness. You have to be willing to let the piece create itself in a way, and to let go of the expectations that stand in the way.

Once you figure out the best way to work, I find that the steps in the process fall into place and you can better those, while experimenting on top of those. For most of my fine art paintings, I have found that what works for me is layering paint, and not planning, but changing colors accordingly – even if it takes ten tries.

Here is a painting I recently finished from beginning to end.


I start by drawing on a primed board, after which, I put a layer of transparent red orange. After that, I fill in until everything feels cohesive. Towards the end of the painting, I lay down frisket (which will appear as orange goo) on the figure to block it out while laying in the background. This frisket peels off, and I am left with a figure and background!

This of course is the process that works for me right now. But we must never be afraid to turn the paper over and start completely from scratch!

Until next week, find something new about your process and how you work, and totally embrace it.

See you next week!