Monday, 24 June 2013

Bragity Brag Brag: "Owl Alighting" - One Painting, 11 pics

My husband recently suggested that I take pictures of one of my paintings at each stage, all the way through. His idea was to make a slide show of  how the painting progresses to display at the next show I do.   Great idea, right?  

I took a mid-resolution scan of my most recent painting at each major step/ change in the process. Quick summary of my process here: The background of the paintings are created by alternating layers of hot wax and paint. After the final layer of paint is applied, I use a spatula to scrape up all the wax, which has resisted the paint. This reveals areas of the previous layers of colour.  I then detail painting on top of this abstract background.... but really, the whole process is much easier to show you...

...So here's my most recent painting "Barred Owl Alighting" in eleven scans. 

1. Step 1, here's the sketch.

2. Watercolour paper with yellow ochre wash

3. Blocked off the area of detail painting with tape to protect from wax application.  Deepened the ochre a bit. Applied the first layer of wax.

4. Darker colour, more wax.

5. Putting some green hues in, more wax.

6. Now its starting to look like the night sky...

7. Pulled up the tape and scraped up all the wax.  Here I thought there was too much contrast between the stars and the sky...

8. ... so I dirtied it up with some burnt sienna.

9.  Started laying in some bluish green for the tree.

10.  Owl.  The foreshortening of his right wing killed me here.  I also hated how the last vertical bar on the three leftmost feathers was on the same vertical line as the right edge of the tree trunk.  I used some very fine sandpaper to pull up some of the pain on the wing.

11. Fixed that wing and made a few changes to his face.  Yellow-green highlights added to the tree. Fin!

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