Process of a painting from start to finish :: After the Flood

Process of a painting from start to finish - a video post of 'After the Flood', a mixed media painting on paper

If you follow me on Instagram you might have seen the post about the time I left the studio skylight open during a torrential rain storm. Yeah. Thankfully there wasn’t too much damage, just a lot of tedious mopping up, and my current sketchbook got a good soaking. You can see it standing up to dry in the left of the video below. :) I like to think it has extra character now.

Anyway, right after that I did a painting and filmed it, and since it worked out pretty well I decided to share it here. I’d like to do this more often because they’re fun to make, and I know you guys like to see a bit of process. Unfortunately, for every one that works out, I film a bunch that don’t, so it’s a bit hit and miss, but I’ll always share the good ones. :)

This one is called After the Flood {haha}, and is now available in my shop.

The materials I used*:



Since the video did a rather speedy final reveal, here’s the finished painting. You can buy it here.

After the Flood // Tara Leaver


*Some of these are affiliate links, which means if you buy the materials via these links I will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thank you. :)

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  • Catherine Hood says:

    This is so inspiring – lovely colours and atmosphere and it makes me feel I want to have a go. Those Inktense pastels look fun – and I need some of that Seawhite acrylic paper too! Just wondering as I am new to using acrylics – I’ve noticed you tend to use white gesso instead of white acrylic paint – are they the same thing or is there any reason you use the gesso instead of paint?

    • Tara says:

      Thank you very much Catherine! If it makes you feel like taking action, it’s done its job. :) Great question about the gesso; I like it because it’s matte, and I’ve never found a white paint that is quite as opaque. It’s personal preference really, nothing technical! Oh, and gesso is cheaper. :)

  • Cindy says:

    Luv the whole process gorgeous , thank you for sharing.

  • Iris says:

    Loved watching this!
    I also paint, but if I try to make something abstract like this, it always ends up being a mess!
    I really love your paintings and your style!

    • Tara says:

      Thank you Iris! I honestly think it’s just a case of putting the hours in, and not necessarily on any particular style. I was always about the figurative or landscapes before. I did take a couple of abstract painting classes, but fundamentally I think as long as you’re in there making your art – any art – it will keep evolving. Those years of figurative etc taught me a lot about composition and value which I think become even more important in abstract, because you don’t have an obvious subject. So it all feeds into itself!

  • Elaine says:

    Thanks for letting us in on your process! It was great fun to see how you work from start to finish. I loved the man’s singing in the first half of the video. Do you have information as to his name and the name of the album?

  • Louisa Northway says:

    Loved watching this T; love the painting….gifted! Lol xx

  • Mariëlle says:

    Really love seeing you work! In love with your Inktense blocks, I have Inktense pencils, but I believe the blocks let you be more creative. Thanks for sharing!!

    • Tara says:

      Yes I love the blocks – you can use them on their sides and cover a greater area, and basically make more mess, which works for me. :)

  • Anna Mac says:

    From my perspective, this abstract could have been called “done” a dozen times before it actually was. Really fascinating…and questions are raised that can’t have black and white answers. The process was tantamount to magic in my left-brained vernacular. Thanks for sharing.

    • Tara says:

      It’s interesting isn’t it! The question of when a painting is finished is a common sticking point. For me these days it’s much more about an internal ‘click’ than it is any outward obvious signs. One way is to stop at an interesting point, but as you say, there are many along the way! So in a sense ‘finished’ is a very arbitrary term. Thank you for stopping by Anna!

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