So, on Friday we established a plan for my painting titled “Curious and Shy”. Today, we execute the painting, and with any luck, we will have a nice monochromatic watercolor that meets our composition and design, as well as doing justice to our chosen subject.
I began my painting by first establishing some darks. My first paint application was a dark grey in the eyes, nostrils and ears. These darks establish enough early drawing for me to feel comfortable with proceeding. As I’ve stated before, if I can’t peg the eyes then the painting has no soul and I usually don’t proceed any further. I also start adding a basic wash to establish the burro’s form. This wash consists of mixtures and layers of Raw Umber, Burnt Sienna, Burnt Umber and any blue (Cobalt or Ultramarine). I used both. This is the painting after these two paint applications.
Next, I establish more darks (Ultramarine Blue and Burnt Umber) in the burro’s tails and the cross markings on their backs. Also note that I put an atmospheric wash around their feet. This helps to anchor my subject and incorporate them into the picture. I’m sticking with my original idea and game plan.
My next washes are a weak background wash of Ultramarine Blue on the right side. This wash is the beginning of the execution of my original sketch. I will layer several warm and cool glazes in this area to build up a nice textural and atmospheric effect. I also establish the cast shadow on the ground. This shadow really anchors my subject and moves my burros beyond being a vignette. The background, like my limited palette, will be minimal, but effective.
Here is the painting after the third paint application.
My final paint application is the cast shadows on the burros, and more glazes on the background.
For the cast shadows I use my purple shadow mix (Ultramarine Blue and Alizarin Crimson) and establish the darkest shadows. The photo of my burros pushes this shadow to nearly black. I stay at a value of about 8 and make a single pass with this color. I don’t want this wash to be broken up or variegated. Several weaker washes of Burnt Sienna and Ultramarine Blue in the background and I call the small painting finished and a success.
Here is the final painting with its story that I presented to my collectors for my Painting Of The Week series.
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