Thursday, February 16, 2012

FPM: Matt is Done!

5" x 5", Acrylic on canvas
©Xan Blackburn 2012
 Fall Portrait Marathon, Painting #7: Matt  

Matt's painting finished up in one sustained burst, and I didn't get any more progress pics for you.  Sorry about that!  

We left off here.  One of the first things I did when I picked my brushes back up was to start laying in the dark green background, so I could get a good fix on my values (darks and lights) on Matt himself.  I worked in various layers of Hooker's green, thalo blue and Payne's gray over the initial pale yellow-gold.  Some of it I washed over the daisies as they needed to be part of the background, and recede in areas, instead of looking like they were printed on top.  But they got a little too subdued, so I brought them back into the sunshine with a few dabs of yellow, white and raw sienna.  They're actually a little brighter in real life.

Once I was relatively comfortable with the background, I went back in and had more fun with Matt, enhancing the underpainting some, and then glazing in the color.  Then it's all about details!  Clarifying the eye details, the fine hairs around the nose and eyes, the complicated ears, with all their different hair movement, picking out the beads in the collar, defining the edges of the ears, and the tiny hairs around the muzzle.  Once the color was in, it needed to be toned down, as Matt's color is very subtle.  Glazing in with white, tinted this way and that, brought a much more realistic feel to his coat.  The water-colory early stages I like a lot, but they are more flat, simpler, lacking in depth.  The more glazing I do, the more it begins to have a feel of a real animal, with real fur, and real liquid eyes and leathery nose.  

My husband thinks Matt's expression is very like our own greyhound, Brilly's.  I have to agree, and once again, it will be hard to part with this little painting!  But, as interrupted as this marathon has been, it's definitely time to move on!  So, he'll be in the mail this weekend.  

Next up is my own dear friend Merann's sphinx kitty Emmet!  He's a cute little guy!  Just wait 'til you see him!  

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