Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Chardonnay Ray

Chardonnay Ray ©2009 Karen Mathison Schmidt
5 x 7 • acrylic on Gessobord
gloss varnish for protection and easy cleaning
SOLD • private collection, San Jose, California

I'm pretty sure I’ve said this before, but I’ll say it again -- I love painting my pets! Ray is forever forging ahead on the search for new and different napping places. Here he is lounging on a wine carton in my studio. It must be noted that the carton no longer contains wine, but various and sundry items which are destined someday to be unpacked and put in their proper place. Someday. Some other day. Not today. I’m too busy painting.

Here are my work in progress photos:
First, the sketch using only black and white paint.

2. blocking in some color, using glazing medium mixed with the paints. At this point I'm not too concerned about the fact that his face looks kind of like a feline version of the joker. I know I can fix that later.

3. adding a glaze of burnt sienna over the whole painting:

4. now, developing the details. The fast drying time of the acrylics enables me to work from dark to light, which I love.

5. I always like to finish the eyes first. That's where most of the personality is! And see, I'm starting to fix his mouth so he doesn't look so joker crazy.

Here are some close-up details, so you can see how I layer colors loosely over the background layers. I think the colors look so much richer when you let the viewer's brain do the mixing.