This piece took a while to complete. Mainly because I was in between other pieces and honestly, I just didn’t want to paint. Sometimes it happens. For this piece I worked in oils with a variety of brushes. Mainly I used flats…..I really needed to update my brushes though. Anyways, let’s continue 🙂
Starting off I leave the canvas white and lightly sketch in my outline. Next I do my underpainting, which in this case is a light brown. Typically you’ll see these colors as the most commonly used for underpaintings. For this it worked really well since Ifaw is after all, a lion. It’s important to remember to keep your layers thin until the final coat goes on. It’s slightly easier to fix a mistake on a thin layer vs something thick.
In this painting I wanted a simple background since the position of Ifaw was unique. I went with black to offset and really pop his coloring. After filling in the black, I start going in with laying in more colors for the fur. I’m still not overly concerned with detail, although it’s hard not to be. Right now I am just playing with colors to find the correct match. I keep my color pallet fairly small so I don’t overload anything.
At this point you start to see more volume going into the fur. Notice I’m focusing on the head versus the body. I tend to try new things each time I’m at the easel when it comes to painting. I still keep my layers of paint fairly thin as well. I go in with middles to darks to lights, I just keep working the process until I am satisfied.
A lot more has been done now. There’s more texture throughout the entire body along with the face as well. I add some light blue into the white fur portions for shading and to keep the piece a little on the cool side. I keep going back and forth until I am satisfied again.
Adding in some blue to the background, I have a better idea of the needed temperature of the painting. Not to mention, it puts Ifaw on the ground. Once I have most of my main areas of orange/brown fur in, I start working on the white fur. I use blue for shadowing in the fur to match the blue in the background.
The finale has come. More texture, thickness, and highlights have gone into the final stretch. I did a lot of back and forth on this piece, as I usually do with my paintings. I did bring in black around the face and some areas of the face, which is something I usually don’t do. I really liked the look of the black and may end up using more in the future.
Next post I will be doing a subject on painting vs drawing. As I have said before, painting isn’t my strongest because I haven’t been doing it for nearly as long. Say about 15 years of drawing to 5 years of painting. The main reason I why I paint? I want to get better at it. It’s a topic I feel many artists struggle with, so why not talk about it?
On The Easel: