Wednesday, December 01, 2010

portrait Marathon: TIGER progress 2

Edging towards completion.

I love the brindles, don't get me wrong, but sheesh!  SO much WORK!  LOL!  And, like Tiger's mouth-frills, his stripes are also very distinct, which means, of course, no fudge-factor.  They are also the main source of information about his shape in this picture.  There are very few actual shadows, so the flow of the stripes and the direction of the hairs in them are the main visual cue to his shape.  See, how they flare up and over his forehead, for instance, shaping over his eyebrows, and rounding down around the sides of his head below his ears.  If I mess up on the direction of the hairs, that will be very confusing/disturbing.  So, I've carefully sketched in with a very dilute payne's gray where the stripes are, and the direction and texture of the hair, to make going over them more distinctly not such a hair-raising challenge.  (Sorry about that!)

Compare it to the earlier version I showed you.  You can still see the blue in the nose, right?  But, it makes sense now, right?

There are a lot of obvious changes from this earlier version.  The background has been layered in with lots of greens, blues and golden yellows.  I'll probably go back into the background in a bit, to get the contrast just right around Tiger's head; I'll want a lot of contrast in the background closest to his eyes, and then nose, and then his lower jaw, but less around his back.

I added lots raw sienna to heighten the reddest areas, and some naples yellow into the lighter golden areas, reserving the lightest tones for his white muzzle and bib.  The area on his throat will have to get pushed back a bit with a cool wash, but I'll do that after the stripes to soften them a little bit, keeping the more focused sharper areas in the face itself.

Another obvious change is in the stripes and other "black" zones.  Not a single "black" area is just "black" from a tube of "black" paint.  Each dark area is layered up with the appropriate combo of payne's gray, burnt umber, ultramarine blue and thalo blue.  Some have other colors under or on top, like the little dark bit inside his mouth below his tongue, above his "flea biter" teeth.  That area has all the red tones I also used in the "pink" mouth areas.

"Pink" is another color I do not have a tube for!  That mouth is an assembly of cadmium red, primary red, and ultramarine.  And some other stuff.  And some white.  I have to do some work on the teeth, but the mouth is just about done.  I might put in some additional highlights, but not 'til I'm sure I've got everything else in the right contrast (darks to lights).

Tiger's eyes had this neat reflection in them of trees, and I think Jennifer (or whoever took the picture).  I liked how deep they made the pupils seem, so I tried to get a similar effect, without doing a whole landscape portrait in each eye.  I like how it's working.

Well, Pogo is alternately trying to jump in my lap, and going into his "See?  I'm being good!  You should do what I want now!" down-and-stare-at-Xan.  It'll be dark in about 10 minutes (*sigh*), so I better run him around the yard for a few minutes.  (Don't report me for bad dog-parentage!  He had a good 40 minute walk this morning, and he's just finished destroying a new toy.)  If this post seems a little disjointed, it's all his fault!


  1. why aren't you famouser? you should be famouser! i hope you are almost done cause i'm running out of suitable adjectives..."stunning" just sounds like a yawn compared to how i REALLY feel about this...guess it's more of a speechless state now

  2. Heh, CC! You're funny! You did pretty well for being speechless! :)
    I should be famouser, though. You're right about that. Tell a friend! LOL

    I had to take our friend to his doctor today, which took aaaalllllll day. It's 6:21PM, and we've just come in, fed the animals, and are settling into our day's work! (And thanking our lucky stars there wasn't a "clean up on aisle 3, 4 and 5" after leaving the dogs alone for a full 8 hours!)


I can't wait to hear from you!

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