Sunday, December 20, 2009

Owl Process

I can't remember if I ever uploaded these images here, but well, here they are.
People have been asking me lately HOW I DID IT. (you can see "IT" here)
Read on, and I'll tell you. In nauseating detail.

A small novel :I

I originally had the beginnings of a gouache painting on this board, but then I decided I didn't like it, so I gessoed over it with a thin coat of non-acrylic based gesso (the kind that feels chalky when dry).
You could still see some of the painting underneath but I was going to tone the board and then paint over it with acrylic anyway, so it didn't matter. (If you do this, also make sure to turn the board upside down so anything left showing through is harder to recognize. You can save a lot of time/money this way.)

Then I drew my owl in with blue ColErase pencil and toned it with burnt sienna (or something similar) gouache which dried funny (kinda looked like water stains or tea stains).
Then I noticed that it looked like clouds. This is called a very happy accident. I kept the cloud-looking-shapes and painted in a rim light eventually.
Then I painted in my lines (I wanted a more comic-book art feel to this piece) and general value patterns (image on right).
I love making this CRAZY texture with matte medium, so, using a sponge brush (cheap-o kind from the craft store) I put the texture down by dabbing it on the board.

When painting in acrylic it is important to remember that hairdryers are your friends. The heat + moving air will help dry an acrylic piece quickly and will save you (again) time/money.
(RANDOM HINT: the same thing applies to drying oil paintings, but instead use an incandescent (heat producing) bulb and shine it on your painting. The heat will help the oils fix faster. Non air-blowing space heaters work well too. Never put your painting in the oven though, it will darken it.)

Then I painted. It was a little hard to paint over that nice texture on his jacket (right image) but I had a lot of fun with this. I love doing little landscapes in the backgrounds (look at the Mona Lisa, Madonna of the Rocks etc there are a lot of little beautiful back grounds on those old paintings).

I hope this helps.

I subscribe to the thought that when all's said and done, I'm not afraid of anyone "stealing" my "process." Please. If anything I'd LOVE to see folks learn from this and make it better.
Yes, that WAS a challenge.

Good luck!

1 comment:

Simini said...

I haven't seen the final of this, but it looks really beautiful. I love the texture!