Saturday, July 21, 2012

Allegiance - Second Half and Finished Painting

I thought I had posted the second half of this progress, but it appears I didn't!  Better late than never, I suppose!

Building up More Color

This stage focuses more on building up the color on the feathers.  Painting with watercolor involves a lot of layers, so while this may seem like an insignificant step, it's actually the result of a number of layers.  If you try to achieve this depth of color in one layer alone, it's not going to look right.  I used a combination of raw umber, sepia, and Van Dyk brown for the upper wings, with some raw sienna for the reddish parts on the secondaries.  For the legs, I used Payne's gray to start painting in the shadows of the fur.

Ground and Pillar Texture
To give the ground and foreground rock texture, I masked everything else with tracing paper, then used an old toothbrush loaded with sepia, Payne's gray, and white gouache of varying amounts to splatter the ground.  The key here is to aim for irregular splatters - big, little, oblong spots, concentrated with pigment, and also watered down.  The result is a believable texture, and not one that looks like paint splatters.

On both the ground and pillars, I painted in cracks to give the place an old, worn feel.  Using a bit of white gouache, I painted along the edges of the cracks to give even more dimension.  I also added more detail to the banners, adding shadow along the top which is being cast by the foliage of the trees they're attached to.  Otherwise, they look like flat shapes of color.

Finished Painting
 Here I add the finishing touches - another layer of raw umber and yellow ochre to the feathers.  I also used a bit of acrylic to glaze even more red on the secondaries, and to deepen the shadows with a very thin layer of black.  This end stage is where I deepen the shadows and intensify the colors, particularly in the grass.  Noticing the banners were still looking flat, I tried to add some waviness and intensify the color.

The foreground pillar was bothering me with how flat it looked, so I added a shadow to the left, which brings more attention to the subject of the painting - the gryphon.

For the first part of this progress post, please see Allegiance Work in Progress Part 1: