Thursday, July 7, 2016

Raccoon Painting Part the Second

This is continued from my previous post, going through the steps of my raccoon painting.  Here's the background, which I had to walk away from so it could dry.  This is acrylic, so it dries quickly.  There's good and bad to that - good because you can walk away from the first layers like this and know that soon it will be unmoveable.  When I finished these layers, I knew I had to physically leave its presence for a couple hours so I wouldn't piddle with it. There's the discipline, because I wanted to continue!  Two hours can turn acrylic pretty much rock hard - at least so you can go back in without moving any of the paint.

The downside to acrylics is that it dries FAST.  You have to be decided as to what you're going to do, and move in prepared for battle.  The lay down has to be fast, or you're in trouble because the paint will dry on you.  What this means is that you need to do multiple sketches and preparation to become VERY familiar with the subject so you are ready!

By the way, I think my little 'coony looks pretty cute just like this!  I'm a gardener.  I guess gardeners and artists always have hope and foresight.  I already see the little guy in there.

here's a shot of my studio ready for battle as well.  Paints laid out.  Brushes laid out.  Notes and pictures hung, Ipad ready, a big bucket o' clean water (out of the picture) on the floor.  Paper towels.  Gloves.

Speaking of gloves, the micaceous oxide from Golden I'm working with has ingredients known to cause cancer.  Definitely gloves.  And air. But it is SOOO beautiful.

Okay, back to the painting, finally!  (So much of painting is not painting, by the way.  Most of it is research, prep work, sketches, getting the stuff out, cleaning up... yeah.

Here I am working with the ruler to get my proportions right.  I don't know what this big ruler is for, sewing, maybe, but I use it all the time and it's handy!  I'm working with vine charcoal at this point, because vine charcoal can be pretty much brushed away with a paper towel.  Remember the measurements I drew in with charcoal before?  I buried them.  They served their purpose, but they are buried.  Now those layers of 'fur' paint are in the correct place, and it's time to draw in the facial features again.


Yeah.  Big, handy ruler.  Somebody tell me what it's for!

Okay, I've now  got the measuring done - again - and it's time for the fun part!  Yay!!!  I'm doing something I almost never do - going in with BLACK paint.  Generally speaking, I will mix my black with, well - anything!  Whatever color is in the painting, I'll mix that in with black to mellow it out.  Often people will go in with a straight black and it looks like a big black hole in the paper.  Muting it out with other colors makes it rich and look much better. 

That said, the fur is wild and crazy.  I've got a very busy collection of textures and applications.  Colors -
Micaceous oxide (deep rich reflective mica pieces in the dark grey
Iridescent silver
A little white

I applied all of the first layer with a credit card.  Yep.  And my hands, and those lovely rubber-tipped 'paint brushes.'

So here is my little boy.  And yes, I feel that the complete black was needed to compete with the wild swirl of everything.  Good choice.  He looks great already.  This is my favorite part of any painting.

Oh - how do I know he is a boy?  Because I am a girl, and I think he's cute! :)

Look for 'Raccoon Painting, Part the Third,' coming to a blog near you.

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