Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Painting progress

This Side Up work-in-progress detail

Today I varnished paintings, packaged paintings for shipping, answered email, updated my eBay store and my website ... THEN continued work on this painting. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I love painting Bailey. A tabby’s face has such interesting markings.

Here’s the work-in-progress so far:

A phthalo blue glaze in the areas which will be darkest in the finished painting ...

... a fuschia glaze over the phthalo and in the mid-range areas ...

... and a yellow glaze in the lightest areas, and over the fuschia areas, bringing them to more of an orange-y color. Here you can get an overall sense of what the values in the finished painting will be: how much dark, medium and light. I love the subject being backlit by the light coming in the window.

After the acrylic underpainting is dry, I switch to my oil paints, and start with Bailey’s face, beginning with her eyes. Since the light is coming from behind her, I have to remember that her eyes and the lighter markings on her face will still have to be grayer (not as bright and pure) as if I were painting her with her face lit. And keeping the color on her face a little darker and not as contrast-y (I just made that up, but I think you can probably figure out what I mean -- you’re a smart bunch of cookies) will make the highlights around her edges and around the edges of the flowers seem more dramatic. There are times in life when you really don’t want drama, but in this case it’s good. Dramatic lighting makes the painting MUCH more interesting.

Below is the final version of Bailey’s face for this one. You can see how I softened her mouth lines just a bit, so she doesn’t look quite as grumpy. Below that are details from two other Bailey paintings where her face was in full light, so you can compare the colors and see the difference.

Tomorrow I plan to finish this and have a completed painting ready to show you.

Hasta mañana, amigos!


Shelley Whiting said...

I love your bright and vibrant colors. Your pictures are very lively and full of life.

Isabel Pérez Lima said...

I like very much this painting...the best of the challenge of this week...The cats are one of my weaknesses.
A greeting.

Anonymous said...

Yay I found out more about how you paint. . .thanks so much for sharing!