Monday, December 12, 2011

Shawnee - Final (or close to it)

Shawnee - Acrylic On Ampersand Board  
 I've finally gotten into the short rows with this portrait of Shawnee and I've just emailed the client for approval.  It's taken what seems to be forever but between the flu and the Thanksgiving holiday, I guess it really hasn't been that long.  

A fellow artist asked me about the technique I used to get the fur texture so I thought I'd share it with you all too.  I used a small #2 round for most of the fur work and just worked back and forth in layers using three or four colors of paint.  Shawnee had a buff colored undercoat which did peek through her outer fur at times so I used the buff color as the base layer.  Then I used a mixed black (Ivory black and Indigo blue) to avoid that "flat black" look, a white with varying tones of blue or white with a bit of the buff mixed it to help convey the reflected light.  The working in all these colors with such a small brush is why it took so long to finish as there must be hundreds and hundreds (or maybe thousands) of brush strokes in this painting.

I have a set of "fur" brushes but in this instance they left a very regular brush pattern that just didn't look like fur at all.  Many times, these are my favorite brushes for fur as it goes relatively quickly with them but they just didn't work as I wanted this time.  In case you're wondering what brushes I usually prefer for fur, they're the Simply Simmons Comb brushes.  You can see how they cut the bristles into irregular lengths which gives the look of fur most of the time at this website:

Anyway, I hope my client likes the portrait and that it's a comfort to her. 

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Another Shawnee Update

I haven't posted an update on Shawnee's portrait and thought I'd better even though it's in the "ugly" stage.  I always feel that people look at it and wonder how any kind of finished portrait could come from that!  But, for better or worse, here's an update.

I'm pretty much finished with the buff colored undercoat and have started working on the silver-tipped black top coat.

There's really not much to say about it at this point!

Oh, sorry for the bad photo - for some reason I just couldn't get a good one!