Here in the UK it is the Bank Holiday weekend. I have been busy this week painting. I have had commissions to get on with and , would you believe it in August , Christmas card designs to finalise so when a free Saturday beckoned I thought today I can please myself what I paint.
Firstly I thought I would give myself the freedom to do whatever I wanted, and I really wanted to do an animal today. I wanted to use my favourite Payne's Grey .Firstly I drew out the outline
Then I painted in his whiskers using a colour shaper and masking fluid. The trick is to push the masking fluid along. It is much thicker than paint I like to paint the whiskers going in interesting shapes not all following one another
Now I can get on with my favorite ,the eye....I treat the eye like a miniature painting. Noting where the light hits it, where to leave white, I use several colours in the eye too.
Here the paint underneath is dry , so I will blend in the hard edges using a wet brush
It takes much longer to paint the eye than any other part and you watch as the animal comes to life before your very brush
There are shadows in the eye, and blues in the eye as it reflects the sky. I add and take away, and need to be very careful. I small drip of water from the brush in the wrong place can ruin everything!!! I want only very very small happy accidents here or I'll be binning my work before it really gets started !
I also concentrate on the eye socket and the pupil. Carefully and slowly. Stop if you get tired ,you can ruin everything by trying to rush . Come back to it after a while and it will be better that you thought. I do like several cups of tea during the proceedings.
Once I am happy with the eye I work outwards from it . I add lots of water and drop paynes grey to create shadow. Like a pencil drawing I am freed from making colour decisions and that is very nice especially when I am just painting to please myself.
The wet paper with the paint creates blurred lines that have the look of fur Sometimes it goes wrong but you can use kitchen roll to wash it off, this is so much freer than painting the eye.
Let the accidents happen, sometimes they make the painting! Experiment ,use dry brush and wet brush techniques. And look at what you are painting, stand back . I only want to make a mark where I need to. Painting a picture is a series of decisions, now I need to finish this, Does it need a background. I want to define the nose and contrast some lights and darks so I think I will add a background, decision made.
Finally I walk away again, let the piece dry, be patient. Now I can rub off the masking fluid, add a few flicks and highlights, stand back and see how it looks....