Sunday, December 26, 2010

The new painting I've been working on! A little bigger than the last, but still small, 15" x 20".

Silly to show a blank canvas, but I'm going to do it anyway! Because this is where it starts.

Next step was a flat terra-cotta-colored undercoat--not something I always do, but I think it will be useful here because there will be so many white-against-light-blue juxtapositions (an airplane and white bonnets, against lots of sky) in the image. Ideally, letting the orange show through a little will separate those elements without the drastic contrast of an artificial dark line.

Then I blocked out the major elements:

Since I am going to be painting sky and ground around these characters and objects, it might seem unnecessarily time-consuming to be drawing them out now. Wouldn't it make more sense to work fast and loose with the background, then paint the figures over it? Yes, in all ways, except for one: when I'm working in tight detail, I work in thin layers, so those areas with the most subtle detail--usually faces and hands--get messy fast if I don't minimize the texture of the layers that go underneath. Blocking out the areas where things like that will go keeps me from overworking them prematurely.

I'm excited to do the next bit, which will be loads and loads of basalt rocks underfoot. Not a texture I've ever done before. Frankly, I'm excited to be painting at all! Illustrations are well and good, but painting time is luxury time for now.

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