Thursday, July 7, 2016

Painting in Progress - Raccoon - Part the First

Here we go again! I did a quick sketch of a raccoon face the other day in my little purse sketchpad, and thought... "I could paint a raccoon..."  Here's the sketch in all its imperfection:
After a few days of mental simmering I couldn't stand it anymore and got out a canvas. Even my little quick sketch was so cute I couldn't resist any longer.  So... I pulled up six or so photos of little cuties that gave me the information I needed and set my pictures on my I-pad to remain on-screen 'forever.'

This picture brought a surprise to me - as I began my study I noticed that raccoon faces are perfect equilateral triangles!  Wow!  Between the ears and nose, the distance is equal.  Who knows these things?  So, I got out the charcoal to work things out.  I always use vine because it's pretty much erasable.

Oh - I should note that the little terracotta container I'm holding (I got paint on it) - it's my charcoal holder.  I got it at the Rembrant House in the Netherlands.  It's an exact replica of his mixing cups.  Makes me happy.
Next I'm doing a quick sketch of Mr. Coon.  Really, it doesn't look very good, does it?  But, although there's not much here, it represents measurements and exactitudes.  Here is the information I need to go further.

At this point, although I've spent a lot of time measuring, looking and thinking, I'm going to lay down the first layer of paint.  I want the background to be abstract and look like it happened without thought, even though that is far from the truth.  I want to get as much paint down quickly and perfectly so there isn't much left to do except for the detail work.  This is the time I want to paint the raccoon's fur in hopes that it will come out just right.

THAT is not an easy task, since acrylic paint dries so FAST!  Additives for slow-dry are well and good, but they change the texture of the paint and I don't want that to happen at this time.  My choice of paints is a nice deep skin color, a (poisonous in California-guess-it's-safe-everywhere-else-ha!) gorgeous micaceous oxide - deep, dark grey with mica flecks in it - thick and grainy! - an iridescent silver and black.   Here goes!

Okay!  Laid down!  I like it!  I've also drawn some of the furry/whiskery details into the painting with a rubber-tipped 'paintbrush' which I use often.  Love those things; have a plethora of them upstairs right now having a convention without me.

Anyway, I think my little raccoon looks pretty good already!  In the next installment I'll show you how I go in with details.  Stay tuned!

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