December 8th, 2010
I have resolved the dilemma of what to do with the bedding and cushions by using a colour scheme that is primarily purple with golden yellow accents. The purple is a restful, nocturnal colour and the gold is on the opposite side of the colour wheel, making it the complimentary in this case. It ties in nicely with the colour of the girl's hair, the puppy and the teddy bear, too.
I have created some dramatic, low lighting on the cushion in the background and deepened the dark brown behind them. There is now a distinct background, middle ground and foreground in the picture. This creates a feeling of depth in the picture and helps build a strong, interesting composition.
Detail and depth of colour are added throughout the painting, and finally, highlights are added at the very last as the finishing touch.
November 10th, 2010
I continue to add detail, slowly building up colour and form primarily with thin washes and glazes using mat medium. I darken the background with a mixture of burnt umber and black to really punch out the foreground. Everything other than the bedding and pillows seems to really be coming together at this point. I am still undecided about what to do with the cushions in the background.
October 27th, 2010
At this stage I begin introducing local colour throughout the painting. I wash in flesh tones on the face and arms of the sleeping girl. I begin accenting details on all three characters in the picture. Simple washes of colour are blocked in on the blanket and cushions behind the figure. I block in the hair with a wash of colour, then add initial detail with burnt sienna. I do the same with the puppy and the teddy bear, then concentrate on adding the most detail to the central character, the puppy.
The teddy bear leans into the picture and the girl's arm leads the eye to the puppy and then to the girl's face. The flow of the hair leads the viewer's eye to the cushions in the background. These cushions act as a 'backstop', leading the eye back to the teddy bear and the cycle is repeated, keeping the viewer's eye within the picture, always returning to the puppy and the girl's face.
October 23rd, 2010
Once the drawing is well fixed, I tone the entire surface with a thin wash of blue-gray acrylic paint, thinned heavily with mat medium and water. I add some slightly darker washes of the same colour, particularly in the bedding. Next, I begin building form and detail to the teddy bear, puppy and sleeping girl. The last thing I do at this stage is to block in the background with a heavier wash of burnt umber.
October 22nd, 2010
This is a picture I am painting primarily for licensing. Companies pay me a fee to use this type of art to illustrate a product such as puzzles, calendars, greeting cards, soft goods, etc. for a specified period of time.
This piece is titled "Puppy Love". I started out by doing a detailed drawing on illustration board. Once I am happy with the drawing, I spray it with workable fixative, then seal it with acrylic mat medium. I also give the back of the illustration a quick application of mat medium to prevent serious warping as the picture dries. If you only paint on the face side of the board, it will often curl due to tension caused by shrinkage of the drying paint. An application on both sides of the sheet counter acts this tendency.
May 19th, 2010
The final stage of this painting should pull everything together. I apply a final glaze of acrylic color over the dark areas of the horse with a mixture of burnt umber and ultramarine blue. I do not want to obliterate the warm sheen of umber on the highlight areas of the horse's coat, so I use a generous amount of mat medium in my glaze to keep it semi-transparent. I finish in the darkest details with black, then adjust a few subtle areas such as the pink of the muzzle and the blaze on the nose before adding the final touches of extreme highlights over all of the reflective areas on the horse and tack. I add some clean light blue in the background, next to the horse's face to increase the contrast in this area. This will draw maximum attention to the face of the subject. The last thing to do is add my signature and the painting is complete.
May 14th, 2010
At this point I darken the local color of the subject, adding detail. I continue to add more intensity and depth to the dark areas and shadows. I also paint in the lightest areas and add detail to the bridle and reins.
May 14th, 2010
Now I paint in the light areas, basically blocking them in, thus creating a third tonal range. This is how I systematically establish the darker shadows, the local mid-range colors and finally the light colors and highlights, which tend to be closest to the light source.
May 14th, 2010
In the first stage of the painting, I blocked in the basic mid-tones. Now I add darks to begin establishing more depth to the picture. I am controlling separation of the background from my subject by painting darks in the background nearest to the lighter areas in the foreground, and visa-versa.
May 14th, 2010
This is the first stage of a small painting that I completed recently. I have blocked in washes of colour in a loose fashion initially. I have used warm tones on the subject and a cooler blue in the background.