Here’s where I stopped on this one today:
With a garden quilt hanging off the edge of the sofa, and a garden rug, I think I’m going to call this one Sophie in the Garden of Delights.
What a cutie!
Here are my work-in-progress photos so far:
First, the sketch in black acrylic. I put more detail than usual in this beginning stage, because I wanted to make sure the rug was interesting; it’s almost half the painting.
Next, acrylic glazes: green for the quilt, blue for Sophie (she’s predominantly orange-ish in real life, so I used the complementary color blue for her underpainting), and red for the rug.
Another layer of acrylic glazes: magenta over sophie and the rug, medium yellow over the quilt, turning it more green.
When the underpainting is dry, I can start with the oils. No rhyme or reason to where I started. I just dove in. On Sophie, I tried to discipline myself to make only one or two brushstrokes at a time, and then wiping and reloading the brush. Before I would make a stroke I made a conscious, deliberate decision where it would be, the direction it would be and the size and approximate shape it would be. This makes for cleaner color on the painting. You would think that painting this way takes out the spontaneity, but au contraire, mon frere – really it helps me keep the feeling loose. And the longer drying time of the oils lets me go in later and blend in select places.
Oh, by the way, doesn’t it look here like she’s wearing purple evening gloves? Hmmm ... maybe I should give her a diamond collar.
Here’s a close-up of Sophie’s face at this point. Already a cutie!
I kept playing with the lines defining her eyes, until I got just the right Sophie expression. When I showed my husband the painting so far, he said I made her look way wiser than she really is. Well, maybe he’s right, and to tell the truth she really is full of beans most of the time, but every now and then she does give us this look that says, “You may think I’m silly, but who knows; I just may be a lot deeper than I let on.”
OK, now she’s not wearing the purple evening gloves any more. Notice that on the quilt and the rug, I’m letting the darker underpainting show through in places, giving the designs a slight outline, and adding to the illustration-y feel of the painting. I know, I know, some may not like that illustration-y feel, but I do! In some places, I added more outline, varying the thickness, like in a pen and ink drawing. And you don’t want to overdo the outlining. Adding it thicker in some places and not at all in others keeps things interesting!
And here’s where I was when I stopped today. I’m kind of excited to see what happens with the rug tomorrow!
Good night, all!