Behind the Scenes: Jim Warren’s Artistic Process

As a self-taught artist, Neo-Surrealist painter Jim Warren developed his own method to create his out-of-this-world art.

Take a behind-the-scenes look at how Warren brings his artwork to life.

Step 1: Sketch and Coat

Before he can flesh out his detailed paintings, Warren first sketches an idea for his design. After covering the canvas with a layer of plaster compound called gesso, Warren draws his creation in pencil.

While many artists start with a sketch, Warren’s next step is a little more unconventional. The artist mixes purple acrylic paint with water and lightly covers the canvas. The purple paint goes over the pencil sketch to create a light violet base.

Jim Warren Park West Gallery

Image courtesy of Jim Warren

“I’ve been doing that for a long time,” Warren says. “It just kind of works.”

Warren says the purple base ensures no white shows through the painting.

 

Step 2: Paint in the Sky

After setting his purple paint base, Warren mixes a rainbow of colors to fill his swirling skies.

Jim Warren Park West Gallery

Image courtesy of Jim Warren

Warren says his painting process has consistently followed this regimen for the past 50 years he’s worked as an artist, but he is always striving to improve.

“I’m constantly trying to see what I can do better,” Warren says. “You don’t want to ever feel that you’ve hit a peak.”

 

Step 3: Fill in the Background

Jim Warren Park West Gallery

Image courtesy of Jim Warren

Once Warren is satisfied with his stellar skyline, he moves down the canvas to fill in the ground. Warren applies multiple coats to enrich his paintings using his signature bold, bright colors.

 

Step 4: Bring his Subjects to Life

Warren’s Surrealist paintings aren’t complete until he breathes life into his subjects. Unlike his loose, imaginative skies, Warren takes his time painting tiny details on his subjects. The artist uses photographs as references to replicate intricate hairs and shadows on his photo-realistic dogs.

Jim Warren Park West Gallery

Image courtesy of Jim Warren

 

Finished Product

After his subjects have come alive, Warren’s Surrealist artwork is finally complete. It’s a labor of love for the artist, whose artwork is more often than not met with an emotional reception.

“I see it all the time,” Warren says. “Someone will walk out of the gallery crying, and someone will ask, “What’s wrong with that person?’ and somebody will say, ‘Oh, they were looking at a Jim Warren painting.’”

Jim Warren Park West Gallery

Image courtesy of Jim Warren

Although it is not the goal of his paintings bring people to tears, Warren says he’s happy to help people feel connected to the pets they’ve lost.

“It kind of makes them happy and sad at the same time,” Warren says. “I’m trying to paint it in a way where people think about it in a good way. The memory is a good memory.”

Park West Gallery is proud to host “The Painted Worlds of Jim Warren” exhibition through April 21. If you want to take home one of Warren’s Surrealist artworks, you can contact our gallery consultants at sales@parkwestgallery.com or call (800) 521-9654, ext. 4.

Leave a comment

Prove you\'re human. *

Latest News

  • View Rare Dominic Pangborn Art During Gala Fundraiser

    At the age of 10, Dominic Pangborn was adopted by a family in Jackson, Michigan. Now, 55 years later, the Jackson Art Network is honoring his artistic legacy with a ...
    Read More
  • Art News: Thieves Steal Invader Art, ‘Loving Vincent’ Images, Childhood Art from Masters

    The art world is full of fascinating exhibitions, intriguing discoveries, and moments that shape history. Here are some of the latest news items making art headlines.  Thieves Target ‘Space Invaders’ Mosaics ...
    Read More
  • Voting Begins for the Next MI Great Artist

    Help decide who will be named the 2017 MI Great Artist by casting your votes at MIGreatArtist.com.Public voting for the MI Great Artist contest runs from August 17–28. Individuals ...
    Read More
  • 6 Destinations for the Ultimate Museum Road Trip

    Want to experience the beauty of fine art around the country but don’t know where to go? Look no further—read on for a museum “bucket list” that will inspire the ...
    Read More
  • Park West Gallery’s 2017 Fall Sale Now Online

    Summer may be cooling down, but the hottest artworks are now available in Park West Gallery’s 2017 Fall Sale.Whether you’re intrigued by the work of master artists or the newest ...
    Read More
  • Art News: Chicago’s Picasso Turns 50, Virtual Van Gogh Exhibition, Met Open Access...

    The art world is full of fascinating exhibitions, intriguing discoveries, and moments that shape history. Here are some of the latest news items making art headlines. Picasso’s Chicago Sculpture Celebrates 50th ...
    Read More
  • Nature vs. Nurture: Is Artistic Talent Innate or Learned?

    Is artistic talent something we are born with or learned through external influences?The age-old debate of nature versus nurture questions whether genes and biology or environment and experience determine particular ...
    Read More
  • 4 Ideas for Beating Post-Cruise Blues

    We’ve all had post-vacation blues from time to time—whether it hits you when you disembark or finally arrive home, it’s easy to become bummed out going back to the grind.Post-cruise ...
    Read More
  • Video Premiere: Alexandre Renoir Continues Great-Grandfather’s Legacy

    Alexandre Renoir’s artistic journey continues on the path started by his great-grandfather, Pierre-Auguste Renoir. The enthusiastic artist says he is looking forward to where his art takes him next.“If ...
    Read More
  • Behind the Artist: David Najar

    In the midst of our digitally-driven age, David Najar has two words of advice: “Just breathe.”Najar’s philosophy is simple, underlying the cause of his discipline as an artist, an optimist, ...
    Read More
  • Art News: Met Art Investigated, Mass. Museum Selling Art, Kurt Cobain Art Unveiled

    The art world is full of fascinating exhibitions, intriguing discoveries, and moments that shape history. Here are some of the latest news items making art headlines.  The Met Relinquishes Two Artworks ...
    Read More
  • Summer Sale Offers the Art of Yaacov Agam

    Collectors who want to add the fourth dimension to their collection can acquire the artwork of kinetic artist Yaacov Agam during the 2017 Summer Sale.Agam is often referred to ...
    Read More