It was great fun painting this alla prima oil of a subject matter so close to my heart, my mother and little cat (at the time) Crookshanks.
I wanted to really capture the early morning light as it shone brightly, illuminating the dark interior of my mother's bedroom. So, unlike the rest of the piece, the window area was left bare of any toned underpainting. The rest was painted with a limited palette over a toned ground of paynes grey, yellow ocher and raw umber.
Much of this toned ground is left uncovered in the final piece intentionally and background elements have been left with a rough unfinished look.
Vine charcoal was the perfect medium in helping to create this soft toned atmospheric piece.
Using a Sepia Light Conte Pencil, the figure was drawn, making sure the 'quality of line' was good as this drawing would be seen in the completed piece. The acrylic primed rough watercolour paper was a great surface to work on. Once I was satisfied with the drawing, the shadows were given a wash of Chinese Black Ink ( there is just a unique luminous quality to chinese ink and I love using it whenever possible ).
To help get my bearings I now went in with the lightest light I planned for the piece.
A splash of white acrylic (with a touch of raw umber) carved out the structure of the man's head and shoulder. Though I had a rough idea where I wanted the white to go, I was always aware of how the composition was developing as I was applying it and adjusting accordingly. For example, I had planned to paint down over the man's left shoulder more, but then the drip happened and looked so good I had to leave it. Acrylic dries fast so decisions had to be made quickly.
With the lights and darks established I went in with a little more detailing for the figure with white chalk, charcoal and the sepia light pencil. I had to be careful not to do too much or risk losing the mood of the piece..
I have this lovely archival tan paper I've been itching to use and thought a 'trois crayons' (technique using three colours - sanguine, white and black) would look gorgeous on it...
The shadow patterns on the model were intricately interesting and I loved that she also had a tattoo on the side of her rib cage that spelt out Honour, Strength and Loyalty..
So I decided to develop this piece further, getting textural effects on the paper and adding the vibrant ultramarine blue and black ink in the background. I really like the aged look of the paper now and the overall effect by adding the colour and background makes for a much more interesting composition.
Thanks for dropping by!.. :)
Hi guys, here a few new charcoals that I've posted recently in my Artfinder store!.. I've recently started to mount all my available newsprint drawings on archival Japanese Rice Paper!.. This not only strengthens the integrity of the paper which is quite thin, but also I think helps improve the longevity of the paper!
Thanks for dropping by! :)
Had to say adieu to this one today. I was surprisingly sadder than usual to see a piece go. I was quite pleased at successfully achieving just the exact glowing emerald hue I had envisioned for the snake and this was also my first attempt at trying a new crosshatching technique with the oil paint too.. Despite this I could not feel more blessed with whom she is on her way to right now!.. Thank you so much for making a home for two!.. :)
More info on how this piece was created etc. at 'Original Sin Rebirth'
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