Friday, June 10, 2011

Matilda and Mickey ... finito!


Yes, Sir, That’s My Baby! © 2011 Karen Mathison Schmidt
8 x 8 inches • oil on cradled Gessobord

private collection • Stamford, Connecticut

Here’s our Matilda with her roly-poly Mickey on one of his first outings into the yard, just like one of the big dogs. I love hound dog puppies with all their rolls upon rolls of skin and little silky, floppy ears. This was a fun painting; I used brushes on the dogs, and a painting knife on the foreground, adding layer on layer of color for the grasses.

Here are some brushwork and palette knife details:

And here are the work-in-progress pics:

First, the initial sketch in indigo acrylic, then acrylic glazes in red, magenta, green and yellow.

For unpainting the mostly orange-ish brown hounds, I decided on a complementary pthalo blue glaze, with a green glaze over it, making it turquoise-colored.

Now I start adding the oil paints; first, Matilda’s details.

I love how her mouth is just slightly open; it looks like she’s smiling.  :)

In this one you can see how I smoothed out Matilda’s ear to make it look more velvety. Then I start adding Mickey’s details. I skipped a few photos in between the last photo and this one, but you can look on yesterday’s post to see all those in-between steps.

From the very beginning of painting with the oil paints, I keep the brushstrokes a little separate, allowing that blue underpainting to show through in places. You can see this especially in the close-up view of Matilda’s head (back near the top of this post).

Since the oils have a long drying time, I can go back later and blend in certain places for smooth transitions. Blending in some places and leaving the color separate in some places gives a lot of interest and gives me that illustration-y look I’m going for.

Now the dogs are done, so I start playing with the background, applying paint with a painting knife. I want a spontaneous feel in the grassy foreground, but I’m careful with the knife around the edges of the dogs because I want their outlines to remain clean.

At this point the background was giving me fits, so I wiped away almost all of it. (Being very careful wiping around those hounds!) I knew what I wanted, but for some reason I was having a hard time getting there. Then, I was concentrating so hard on trying to get the effect just right, I totally forgot to take progress pics in between.

Finally, I got it where I wanted it. Spontaneous grassy foreground, and a smooth, kind of glowing, velvety background around the doggie faces. With some suggestion of garden in the far background at the top of the painting.


OK, on to the next challenge!


Lynne E. Windsor said...

Wonderful to see your process too Karen.. gosh, though, my heart leapt when I saw the close ups! I thought they were abstracts? Don't you just love taking close ups of small areas?

Sherry Rogers said...

This is so good!!! I love that you wiped some of it off and didn't like where you were going. This gives me just the permission I need to do the same. Thank you for sharing your work and vulnerabilities! Gosh it's so fun to read these posts.

Anonymous said...

I just love your step by step process. You are my new favorite mensa...I love everything about your technique and colors. Keep inspiring me!!!

Valerie Anderson