A WIP or work in progress is a step by step project that describes how a piece of artwork has been created from scratch usually illustrating the steps with photos taken during creation.
Wips can be posted by both the beginner artist and the expert. It just illustrates the creation process and it is not in any way regarded as the right way or the only way to make art.
Some WIPs are just a series of photos of the steps of a project. Others are more detailed acounts of what happens at each stage of creation.
Some WIPs give insight in the usage of a medium, a certain technique or a blend of techniques.
Some explanations are given by the artist regarding his choices in palette, style, technique or elements of a work against a reference image or just with respect to a subject.Other artists document an original style and approach.
The usual menu of a WIP includes information on:
- medium, support, size, source of inspiration, the story behind the painting or the one in the making
- discussion of composition where necessary
- techniques employed in the art piece
- considerations regarding the subject
- a rationale for the choices made by the artist at different stages of his project
- color mixing inside info in certain media
- matting or framing details in some cases
A WIP is most of times a palpable, hands on project that develops under our eyes from a blank sheet of paper or canvas to the gallery piece or finished work.
For some a WIP can be an experiment for most it is applied theory and a unique experience as each artwork takes a life of its own.
The difference between a WIP and a tutorial rests on the amount of expertise you possess in a medium or genre.Any art student can put together a WIP. Yet most tutorials or lessons are written by teachers and professionals or artists with a long experience in that field.
A WIP is the story of a painting and how it was created. A tutorial or lesson is rather about how one should paint in a certain medium, technique, etc.