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Tuesday, May 16, 2017

ENDANGERED SPECIES - VANCOUVER ISLAND MARMOT



Wet washes on the body with burnt orange and quin. violet. The entire marmot was painted using orange, violet and indanthrone.

Darkening his fur ...


... and still more ... 

I did two gradated washes to the line where sea meets sky, both using phthalo blue and indanthrone.


Lightly painted some distant islands, and started giving a rocky look to his rock. 

My Rock
10.25 x 6.25 inches framable size
AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE
I wanted to give the marmot the look that this is his home, and he is not letting go of it.

This adorable beastie is a local - the Vancouver Island marmot, the only uniquely Canadian species of marmot. He lives on the south- and west-facing alpine meadows of the island.  Those long claws and powerful shoulders are for digging for food and making burrows for hibernation. He's hefty - up to 2 1/2 feet long, weighing up to 17 pounds. It is believed the reason for the great decline in numbers [since the mid-1990's] is due to predation by wolves, cougars and golden eagles. There is a captive breeding program on the island, whereby adults are caught and allowed to breed safely, then they and the pups are released back into their natural habitat. It sounds like a logical plan; with their colonies very reduced in numbers, there are no or few potential mates - this program brings them together.
I remember seeing a yellow-bellied marmot in the most unlikely place - the backyard of my mother's house in Kerrisdale in Vancouver. I drove into the back driveway, and there he was, standing on his hind legs looking at me! of course, no-one believed me.

THANK YOU FOR DROPPING BY!!

ENDANGERED SPECIES - THE GREATER BILBY


Wet in wet washes of burnt orange and a grey-blue [indanthone, quin. pink and burnt orange].

Playing with the aforementioned colors in different combinations, still wet in wet.

Getting into the nitty-gritty of the fur - small strokes with a fine brush, building up the layers.

Some "ground" - burnt orange, with a bit of orange and quin. violet for contrast.

Greater Bilby
14.5 x 11.5 inches
37 x 29.5 cm.
AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE


Meet the greater bilby, also known in Australia as the Easter Bilby - the name is part of a campaign to raise awareness to its endangered state. This little cutie is about the size of a rabbit, and has keen hearing and sense of smell, but poor eyesight. He lives in hot, dry areas - grasslands, scrub areas. The reason for the decline in numbers is posited to be predation by foxes and feral cats, and to indirect competition for food with the rabbit population.
This is the first of my endangered species series. I have a deep love of Nature and animals, and feel this is the least I can do to [hopefully] help their plight.

THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR DROPPING BY!!

Monday, May 1, 2017

Three of the Girls Are Done ...

For Sally, I painted a scrumbly background of aureolin, burnt orange and warm black, letting each color dry before applying the next. I also tried a new technique with her neck fur  - I feathered it in. I drew in a line of black, then used a barely-moist medium-sized flat to spread the color. I think it gave a lovely soft effect. Definitely using this on the next commission [ a Schnauzer by the name of Louis].

Same technique here, trying to go with a background that would draw the viewer's eyes to the cat's eyes. Here I used burnt orange, followed by orange mixed with violet.

Soft scrambling again, with quin. gold mixed with indanthrone - to match her eyes.

Thank you so much for dropping by!

Monday, April 24, 2017

WOO - HOO ... Final Stage of the Cats

THIS is what I LIKE! A nice soft and supportive background. I mixed some gold and indanthrone, painted along the outline and scrambled it outwards to soften. I may add a touch more near her eyes with the blue, but overall I do like the look.

This was one of my many attempts to get "the look".

Sponging ... NO!

A swatch with some other attempts and color combinations.

More trial and error ...

EEK!!! NO!!!

Ditto!

Like the effect but not the color. Thankfully, I had all the color studies I had done earlier  with which to play.

Nice, but too dramatic, I feel, for the owner. I will be using gentle colors tending to warm, and something to bring out their eyes.

And this is a sketch of one of my next projects. Meet the Greater Bilby. I had never heard of this beastie before, and when I saw a photo, I felt compelled to draw and paint him. He is a rabbit-sized marsupial, living in the drier areas of Australia. He is also on the endangered list. I would like to do [hopefully] one drawing and/or painting a week of an endangered animal.

Thank you so much for dropping in!!!

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

A TALE OF TWO KITTIES

Looking absolutely nothing like a cat!!! ... just thin washes of alizarin crimson and burnt orange

Wet-in-wet applications of aureolin and burnt orange for the eyes, and thin direct applications of a black started on her face.


STILL not looking much like a cat. Continuing with direct applications of the black ... 


Another w/w of burnt orange for the eyes. Then I wet the entire area on which I want some black. I start with a very dilute mixture to get the paint flowing over a large area, then stroke on some thicker pigment. I continue till the paper is too dry to accept paint.


A pair of pupils - always a good idea. Also another w/w application of a dark brown from the top of the eyes to simulate shadow. NOW she's starting to look like a cat! 


A bit of touching up with thin glazes of black, and she is done. Just a hint of background needed. 

Another strange-looking beastie! I have wet the entire head and neck and stroked in some phthalo blue and a mix of that blue with a bright pink.

These eyes are also done with w/w applications of aureolin and burnt  orange; the ears with pink and a touch of burnt orange. Lots of teeny, fine brush strokes in the direction of hair growth ...

... and still more brush strokes ... 


I like how the process of wetting and softly brushing in black softens the appearance of the coat. So once again, I mix up three dilutions of color, wet the entire area to be black, and start dropping in paint.

And here is Black Cat #2. I wasn't sure if I really loved the look, but after leaving the two portraits for a day or two, and putting them side by side, I quite like them. YAY!!!!

I worked on these two together - just mixed up a vat of black paint and got going. They were both done inside of a week [that must be a record for me!] The next one is going to be more of a challenge - he has a very flat face ... almost no facial "structure" to work with, as well as having some fussy coat coloration. But that's five portraits done so far!!!

Thank you so much for dropping by!

Sunday, April 2, 2017

The Tale of the Tabby or Another Painting Process ...

Drawing

First washes - light grey for fur, aureolin with phthalo blue and burnt orange for eyes 

Adding texture to fur

Several washes, and many teeny strokes of dilute color ...

More of the same ... and shadowing her eyes

Adding part of the body

Intensifying and detailing

Here she is so far. My plan is to get all eight cats to this level of completion, then line them all up and decide on a unifying background for all of them. So far, I have three done ...
The colors I use with this cat for the eye are aureolin, phthalo blue and burnt orange, with the shadow made of burnt orange, scarlet lake and indanthrone. Her fur, both greys and blacks are made with burnt orange, scarlet lake and indanthrone. The initial stages are a wet-in-wet technique, followed by one heck of a lot tiny brush strokes [a somewhat meditative exercise]. 

Such a sweet-looking girl.

Another photo I am using to get a better idea of her striping.

The next two cats, both blacks, are waiting on the board. One will be getting a phthalo blue under wash, the other a red.
The cat saga continues ...

Thank you so much for your visit!

Sunday, March 26, 2017

OK ... Hilda, This Is for YOU

Drawing

Spooky-looking eyes - using aureolin, quin. burnt orange and phthalo blue

Getting her furry - quin. burnt orange, scarlet lake, a bit of indanthrone

Adding the more neutral grey - orange, scarlet and indanthrone

Same colors for the bit of her back and shoulder

Touched up and darkened here and there. A very light background will be added later, after I finish all eight of the cats, so I can see them all together and decide on some unifying colors.

Several days ago, Hilda Muxo Klinger [fellow blogger] left a message on my artist's Facebook page. She very thoughtfully and kindly enquired if I had disappeared from the face of the Earth. Not quite! But I have been busy, and posting from this newer laptop is much more awkward and time-consuming. When I take photos, I download them onto my older desktop [which no longer can access my blog] There I edit them, because the photo editing is much better than the laptop. Then I have to mail the photos to my laptop, to make them accessible for me here. Damn, I really dislike computers!!! Anyway, thank you, Hilda! on to more cats ...

Thank you so much for dropping by!!