Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Work in Progress A Red Maine Coon - Stage 1

I've decided to do a work in progress in a bit more detail, highlighting some of the stages I go through to create a portrait. This will be a fairly large mixed media work. There will be no background other than a shadow to ground the cat so once I've drawn the outline and main fur clumps on my paper I start to select the colours.
I'm working on Arches hot pressed watercolour paper.

1. Selecting the Colours
I make a fairly quick initial selection of pencil colours I think I can see in the cat and draw a small square of each on the edge of my paper. I remove this edge from the finished portrait but it helps me to see how the colours work on my support.

2. I compare my selected colours with the reference and discard any that don't work.
Tip - For a red cat I discard any pencils that tend to look yellowish as they end up giving the orange/red fur a greenish tint.

3. I select the colours for the eye and  complete it before moving onto the surrounding areas of fur.

4. If you look at the tail you can see I'm putting down a base of watercolour before adding the coloured pencil.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Maine Coon Cat on Colourfix

I've been working on this maine coon cat in between other things which is why it's going so slowly.
It's approximately 16 x 12 inches on colourfix paper.
I've been using an under painting in watercolour and then adding detail in coloured pencil using the same method that I did with the spaniel but I'm finding it a very different experience to working on watercolour paper.
I thought it might be useful to compare my findings using the colourfix against using a hot press watercolour paper.

  • The coloured paper provides a midtone which means fewer layers are needed to create the fur.
  • Little work is needed to create a subtle background.
  • White fur shows up against the darker paper.
  • Both the watercolour and the coloured pencil sink into the colourfix requiring constant touching up.
  • The rough surface of the paper eats the pencils and destroys brushes, it is advisable to only use old brushes.
I can get fine detail on both surfaces so that isn't an issue.

On balance I think I prefer working on watercolour paper so it will be back to the Arches hot pressed paper for my next work.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

National Exhibition of Wildlife Art

'Ruffled Feathers'
The National Exhibition of Wildlife Art opens on Friday and runs to the 29th July at the Gordale Garden Centre, Wirral.
 My painting 'Ruffled Feathers' will be on show together with another 439 2D and 3D works of wildlife art.
You can see a list of all the selected artists here, and there will be an online gallery available to browse from the 13th of July.
If you are interested in wildlife art it is well worth a visit, plus as an added bonus on the 13th, 14th and 15th there are several free wildlife art demonstrations running from 11.00am to 4.00pm.

Link: NEWA