Thursday, January 24, 2013

Sylvan - Work in Progress 1

Part 1: Washes
To preserve the 'gems' on the falcon's feathers, I cover them with masking fluid.  This will allow me to paint washes over them and not have to worry about painting around them, so when it comes time to paint them I have the white of the paper.  Based on the color sketch, I start putting in wet-on-wet washes to make sure they blend well.  The important part here is to make sure you only wet areas that are NOT touching other wet sections...otherwise the colors from the first section will bleed into the other section!  For example, I waited until the falcon's wing was completely dry before wetting the hawk's head and back.

It's important not to go too dark at this stage, and this is more of an underpainting basis for the other layers.

Part 2: Adding Color

In the falcon's wing, you can see how I started adding color to individual feathers.  I wanted a bit of a gradient, so I started at the top, with aureolin yellow, then going lower with cadmium orange, then using quinacridone rose and finally Thio violet.  Even here, I made sure to use wet-on-wet to encourage the colors to blend cleanly, while using a brush very heavy with pigment.  When the paper is wet, if your brush doesn't have a lot of pigment, you're going to end up with a very weak wash.

I continued down the wing, combining Thio Violet with cerulean blue.  Right now the whole thing looks very oversaturated, but adding shadows and value in the next step will balance some of the color, and make the colors seem even more brilliant, when contrasted with the dull shadows.  I've also started to add detail to the leaves of the willows.

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