Tag Archives: lightandshadow

Cactus Cat

“Cactus Cat”

Painting #12 for my 14×28 Furry Friends of February challenge. “Cactus Cat” is 7.5″x11″ on 140lb Arches cold press watercolor paper. Click on the image for a larger view in a new browser tab.

I have attempted to paint from this same reference photo two or three times previously. This is the first time I like the outcome. I feel as if I have captured the moment in a pleasing but not too sickeningly sweet way… Maybe it is still too sweet, but.. ?

I used Indanthrone Blue, Quinacridone Rose, Manganese Blue Hue, and New Gamboge (all by Daniel Smith). I did mask off some highlights before painting, using my small diamond-shaped palette knife with Pebeo Drawing Gum. I masked the whiskers catching the light and some highlights on the flowers and leaves. I also masked the highlights in the eyes and on the ear.

After the masking dried, I wet the paper front and back and let it soak a bit. When ready to paint, I dried off the back, but left the painting surface really wet, except around the eyes which I dabbed off with a paper towel. I started with the leaves and flowers on the left, with all the colors at medium-strength.

I painted the cat’s face first with Indanthrone Blue only (leaving the eye shapes white), letting the paint bleed out to the edge at the back of the head. I mixed the blue and Quin Red in a mixing area to creamy-strength, then caressed in the dark purple on top of the Indanthrone. I then added some yellow to the purple to neutralize the dark. Keeping it really strong, I caressed in the darkest darks, leaving the blue and violet to show in the slightly lighter areas of black fur.  I carved around the flowers with the dark mix as well. The masked edges helped to keep the shapes of the cactus foliage and flowers.

I painted the shelf with New Gamboge, then added some red and blue to make a nice gold. I used the gold mixture to indicate the cast shadows under the cat, on and below the shelf. I added blue to the gold mix for the curtains to the right of the cat. I tried to keep some whites but minimized my strokes to keep the curtains really loose. I painted the far wall (right side of the composition) with the same dirty gold.

I used the gold for the first layer of the eyes. I worked some details on the plants while the eyes dried off. I used the Manganese Blue and Gamboge for the greens on the cactus (The Indanthrone was too dark and warm). Then I painted the highlights on the cat with the same Manganese, so it would not be isolated. After the gold eyes were dry (ish), I add the dark pupils then softened them with some red-gold and blended that out into the gold base. Remember, I had masked the highlights, so I did not have to be too careful.

The cat is a little bit crossed eyes, so I wanted to capture that. Did you know that a Seal Point Siamese is genetically a black cat? I have often found Siamese Cats to be a bit cross-eyed as well. Apparently, black cats also tend to be quite smart. We’ve certainly found that to be the case with our two black feline beasties. I wonder if our two have Siamese blood?

Well, that’s painting #12 of 14 done. Two more to go. My next posts will describe paintings #13 (already done), and #14. I’ve picked out the source photo for #14, but it still needs painting. What will it be a cat or a dog? Stayed tuned…

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Smiling Beverly

Painting with model

Smiling Beverly

“Smiling Beverly” watercolor 11″x7.5″ on 140lb Arches cold press paper. A day departing from my Furry Friends Challenge. I participated in the Portrait Society of Reno’s weekly live model session. The lovely “Smiling Beverly” graced us with herself. She held a slight smile the entire time. Click on the images for a larger view in new browser tabs.

I used Phthalo Blue (GS), Cascade Green, Quinacrindone Coral, and Raw Sienna Light. All Daniel Smith pigments.

I painted on dry paper, set at a 60-75 degree angle (on my plein air easel). For the first 20-minute sitting, I drew the contours of the major shapes.

I began painting on the second 20-minute pose. I began with the background, moving from the outside in. The background is a mix of Cascade Green and Phthalo blue. I then framed the face with the hair. I mixed phthalo, quin coral to make the first layer of light gray hair. I then moved on to the skin tones. I used quin coral and Raw Sienna Light. Around the eye sockets I put down a think layer of just phthalo blue. I exaggerated the light shapes at first, leaving them completely white.

For the second 20-minute pose, I concentrated on the features with a stronger mix of all three pigments. Painting the shadow shapes.

For the third 20-minute pose, I worked on the clothing and darker shadows in the hair. This time I added some RSL to the blue and coral for a richer more neutral gray tone. I put in some blue reflected light on the bottom of the chin and added some blue to the lights to give her a sense of being in outside light.

For the final 20-minute pose, I added some more darks around the features, added the glasses, and darkened the background green.

I have a few corrections to make (around the eyes and mouth) but I am quite pleased with the likeness achieved from the live setting. Stay tuned!

 

Sold! What Did You Say?

What Did You Say?

What Did You Say? – Final

Portrait #2 for my 14×28 Furry Friends of February Challenge. “What Did You Say?” watercolor 7.5″x11″ on 140lb Arches cold press. Click on the image for a larger view in a new browser tab.

 

I made friends with this little guy just before Christmas last year in Boise, Idaho. I wonder if he will remember me when I visit again?

I sketched in a quick outline drawing directly on the paper using my lead holder (pencil) with 2B graphite. I exaggerated the forward tilt of the left-side ear to make the dog look more inquisitive.

The painting went really quickly. I will have to check the timing on the video clip, but I think the drawing & painting process took about 30 to 40 minutes total? I was trying something a little different for me. I still saturated the paper, front and back, but this time I did not dry it back to damp; instead, I went in while the paper was still really glossy wet.

I worked the shapes from the inside out, using thick paint. Instead of working light pigment and building up the values, I wanted to do more of an “all prima” method, achieving the correct values from the start.

I used Transparent Pyrrol Orange (TPO), Raw Sienna Light (RSL), and Pyrrol Red by Daniel Smith, and Ultramarine Light by Holbein.

I began around the snout and eyes, using strong pigment. I put a base of blue for the eyes and nose, being careful to paint around the highlight on the tip of the nose. I added TPO and red, letting all three colors mix on the paper, then drew the orange, yellow and red out to the hair. It was fun to watch the paint bleed out and leave a lost edge.

I used the RSL for the light hair at the top of the head, the bottom of the chin, and tips of the ears. When calling out the background, I rewetted the paper and applied a thinner mix of all the colors, creating a diagonal flow. I just hinted at the dog’s body so the focus stays on the face. I darkened the nose, eyes, and mouth with more blue, red and TPO. After the painting had dried off a bit, I added some calligraphy strokes to imply hair. I saved some random whites around the edges to create sparkle in the painting. I may want to lift off some brighter highlights in the eyes. What do you think?

Sold! Thank you, Denise Maxwell.

Update 2/7/20! I made two changes. Can you tell where?

 

Little Veil – Painting

Little Veil

Portrait #23 of my 30×30 Portrait Challenge. “Little Veil” watercolor 7.5″x11″ on 140lb Arches cold press. Click on images for a larger view in a new browser tab.

I mixed up 5 tea strength piles of pigment: Rose of Ultramarine (RoU), Cascade Green and Raw Sienna Light (RSL) by Daniel Smith;  Cobalt Blue by QoR, and Translucent Orange by Schminke. I saturated the paper front and back, then dried it back to damp.

I wetted the shadow shapes again then “S-caressed” in the RoU, RSL, and Translucent Orange for the skin tones, using the Cascade Green for the light side and the shadows ad Cobalt in the eye sockets. I painted around the highlights in the eyes (by not wetting the paper there).

I used a combination of the Cobalt, RoU, and Translucent Orange for the hair, letting the colors mix on the paper (not in the palette!).

I wet the background and gently painted caressed in tea strength RoU and Cascade Green in the background, Letting the two colors both mix and be independent, so it was soft and blended. I let all the color bleed out a bit.

I took a break to handle a customer. Yay! Afterward, the paper had dried back just the right amount. I started to build up the value tones. Starting with the dark eyes. I brought in some Payne’s Blue Gray (or maybe Indanthrone Blue?) by Daniel Smith, mixed it with the Translucent Orange to create a dark brown for the hair and the eyes. I used RoU for the lips and nostrils. With a tiny bit of blue where the lips joined and in the corners of the mouth.

I called out the neck and back of the hair with a stronger mix of Cascade Green, then blended in some RoU to neutralize the colors.

I enjoy the painting. I REALLY captured a likeness this time. I like the softness on the edges and focus on the features with the hair falling across them.

This may be my favorite skin tone combination now? Who will I draw or paint tomorrow? Stay tuned.

With a Blue Streak Too

With a Blue Streak Too.

Portrait #22 for my 30×30 Portrait Challenge. “With a Blue Streak Too” watercolor on 140 lb Arches cold press, 7.5″x11″. I decided to paint this model again. I just did not capture a likeness the first time around. Click on images for a larger view in a new browser tab.

I painted wet-into-wet using Rose of Ultramarine, Cascade Green by Daniel Smith, Ultramarine Blue and Translucent Orange by Schminke, and Cobalt Blue by QoR. I wanted to just do an analogous color scheme from green to violet, but I just couldn’t resist bringing in the orange for the skin tone.

The green and violet mix to a nearly perfect gray tone. I used the same two colors as individual components for the background.

I really enjoy the painting now, especially the pops of blue in the hair and the green backlighting at the temples and under the jawline. The other portrait was not bad, it just did not look like the model in my opinion.

I did take video of the process for future reference. Stay tuned.

All these small portraits (7.5″x11) are for sale. $185 (plus sales tax and/or shipping, where applicable). The price also includes a white black core mat with outside dimensions of 11″x14″ (standard frame opening size), foam core backing and clear cellophane packaging.

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15th Painting 30×30 Direct Watercolor – Jonesy Boy

Jonesy Boy

I couldn’t resist. This is my second painting for June 15th. I am now caught up! with the 30×30 Direct Watercolor Challenge! If I post this today, it will show the 15th painting on the 15th day of June.

I will not expound on it too much on the painting process. I will just say it is a 5.5″x7.5″ direct (no pre-drawing), wet-into-wet. The paper had dried back significantly before I finished, but it was done all in one go, no glazing.

I used Pyrrol Red, Phthalo Blue and Raw Sienna Light for the fur and background. I brought in just a bit of Hansa Yellow Medium for the eyes. All Daniel Smith Brand pigments. It is on Arches 140lb cold press paper.

After staring at this for a bit, I felt compelled to make a few adjustments. The nose was too long and he was a bit narrow between the eyes. I couldn’t “really” fix it, but the few changes helped, me thinks. You?

To purchase this painting for $150 with a black frame and a white black core mat (plus shipping), click the “Add to Cart” button below. Check and international payments incur additional shipping charges. Taxes additional, where applicable.

Jonesy Boy – After a few adjustments

Jonesy Boy $150 (w/ frame & mat)


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