Nippers the Owl – September 5, 2016 Progress

I hope that you all spent your Labor Day with loved ones and that everyone who has to go to school is ready for it tomorrow morning! I know that I am as ready as I can get, and have decided to use a few minutes before turning in to write up a quick post of my latest painting. I seem to have spoiled myself and my readers with all of these posts and paintings, but I just had the time and the mind to pick up the brush and practice a bit.

I think that this owl painting has some of the best underpainting I have done yet. I know that it is a bit overworked in areas, but it really isn’t so bad. I also decided not to add highlights with gouache after the fact, this time, because I was better with reserving them. Either way, what are your thoughts?

nippers the owl_painting

My sister took the liberty of giving him a name: Nippers. I think he looks surprised by something. Maybe it is the coming school year. Haha.

On a more serious note, I plan to improve my underpainting as well as leaving highlights. The more I paint, the more I realize that half of the process is reserving those highlights to bring sparkle and life to a subject. I also observe that nothing is as good a highlight as unpainted paper. Going in again with gouache or acrylic just doesn’t do the same thing, in my opinion. I have yet to try using a white gel pen to the same effect, but let’s just say that I am not planning on purchasing one for my collection.

I also need to grow more confident with making more naturalistic backgrounds. I really don’t see myself going the abstract route with my painting practices, so that is another thing that I should really plan out more. However, even here, I got to put in some time with negative painting and gradual transition between colors. I was also quite pleased with using only a handful of colors to do the whole thing. It is for that reason that the background doesn’t seem to be so out of place. The color just ties it in.

Materials:

  • 1/4 sheet of Kilimanjaro natural white 140lb cold press
  • Paints (M. Graham, Winsor and Newton)
    • Burnt Umber
    • Prussian Blue
    • Alizarin Crimson
    • Naples Yellow

I actually thought I used more colors, but now that I go through the process again, and look at my palette before cleaning it up, it really was all done with just 4!

This paper is really quite good as well. I don’t really see a difference from Arches. Maybe one day I will do a side-by-side comparison.

 

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