I’ve got a couple more progress shots for you of Moggie’s portrait! The top photo shows how I began working in her stripes first and what the portrait looked like when I began filling in her coat. I thought it was a neat comparison shot to the final under painting beneath, so you can get a better idea how I work through a portrait.
The first thing I work in is the background and foreground, if there is one, and then I paint in the facial features – eyes, nose & ears – then stripes and solids. The only part of the painting that is completely finished at this stage is the gorgeous mustard background. I’ll paint in each hair on her coat again individually – under painting it like this just covers the canvas in the darkest color so I can start laying actual fur over the top.
I might not finish this piece until next week. I don’t use black, since it’s not a natural color found in nature. What appears to be black in my paintings never is – it is a combination of indigo and other dark values found in the painting. For example, Moggie’s “black” is indigo and raw umber, with a touch of burnt umber and yellow ochre where the light is bouncing off of her coat. Indigo seems to be the once color that takes the absolute longest to dry, even when using a medium to speed drying time! Neat little tidbit for you artists who are following along! I quit using black a long, long time ago – doing it this way makes the color so much more real, and rich.
Moggie and I will see you again soon!