Saturday, December 1, 2012

2 cute
2 be

Remember back in the day when we used to write that in each other’s yearbooks in Junior High? Little did we know we were foreshadowing texting shortcuts!


Jo  © 2012 by Karen Mathison Schmidt
6 x 6 inches • acrylic on GessobordTM
private collection • Poway, California

Today I confirmed something I already suspected: Jo is too much fun to paint. After working on a couple of paintings that are a little more detailed, I wanted to keep this very quick and loose, so I decided to see if I could capture her with minimal strokes. It was very energizing! 

This is from a picture I took of Ray and Jo cuddling together. I plan to do a larger one including Ray, but I wanted to do this little quick one of just Jo first.

Here are my work-in-progress photos:

My initial sketch with an overall glaze of quinacrodone fuchsia. Here in the sketch her eyes look kind of scary. But I’m not worried. Well, maybe just a little.

Here I’ve added a glaze of bright violet where the pillow will be behind her, and caput mortuum to darken the blankets.

Next, I do her eyes. Keeping in mind that even though they only take up a tiny portion of real estate in the overall painting, they are oh, so important in getting across the feeling of the entire painting. No pressure :)

Always remember, eyes are glassy and reflective, so are never just one color. You can see different colors reflected in them in the close-up detail I’ve included down at the end of this post.

 Continuing to add color, with quick, definite strokes.

When I say quick strokes, I don’t mean unplanned. I look at my reference and decide color and shape and placement of each stroke, then apply only one or two strokes before referring to the photo again and reloading for another stroke. It takes some practice, but when you get a rhythm going it’s really fun.

And all along I’m taking note of those serendipitous little places where the vivid underpainting shows through, all the while making decisions where to keep them, and where to lose them.

Almost finished. I’ve lightened and brightened the highlights, like on her forehead, the tips of her nose and paw, and a few touches of light on her fur, especially on her face. I also added a hint of whimsical pattern to the pillow and the blanket draped over the back of the chair on the upper left.

And here’s the finished painting. I warmed up few places in the pillow and blankets with a glaze of 
cadmium yellow light. A very transparent glaze, using a lot of glazing medium with only a teeny amount of paint, to add just a touch of yellow, not an overpowering amount.

I’m looking foward to a lot more paintings featuring Jo over the next decade or so, plus. (God willing!)

Happy painting!

1 comment:

Kitchen worktops gal said...

I love seeing the progression like this! It's amazing watching kitty develop and come to life right before my eyes! Thanks!