My first formal portrait of Argie by himself! Argie is Mewler's half-brother and best friend, six months younger. (Here they are together in "Besties")
Enjoy these progress pics...
I slowly made the eyes yellow by cooling down the rest of the painting ;)
I always end up with a hand full. For Argie's silvery coat and the indirect light, these colors were more subdued than my usual pallette. ("Argie" is short for Argentum which means silver in Latin, although technically his coat color is called lavender...)
The Appalachian Pastel Society is having an Adventures In Pastel contest over the next few months, with a set of Blue Earth pastels as the prize for whoever can complete the most challenges!
Their first challenge was a "before and after". This was to rework a painting with fresh eyes and all the skills you have acquired since putting it aside.
This is my before of "Hay Bales 6" (from 2011 😆can't believe it was still hanging around!)
These are the two reference photos I used. The first is the original reference, which I had enhanced in Photoshop. To
improve boring the composition, I used a secondary reference to change
up the background and the character of the front bale. (I also tried to
get more diagonals in the flow of the land, but that came out a little
more subtle than I was hoping for.)
wiped off the entire painting and started from the "ghost" image, used
some Art Spectrum offwhite pigmented ink (which I've found to be an awesome way to get the "white" back into a dull, dark surface!) and my gold primer mix (Golden
brand Quinacridone nickel azo gold fluid acrylic color mixed into Golden
fine pumice gel) and some Art Spectrum terra cotta pastel primer, to
establish the kind of underpainting that I'm used to now, and to get additional texture in more
This was the result of a "what if". Richard McKinley encourages his students to keep a "what if" attitude when deciding how to approach a painting, and my habit of working in series of small Daily Paintings especially lends itself to this approach, in fact sometimes demands it! I felt like a lot of my backgrounds lately were becoming a little too predictable. So with this chick I wondered "what if the background were to match the beak, but bolder?" Ok, it did help that there was a bit of this exciting red in the background of the photo. But when I began to throw in those intense reds, orange and fuscia, suddenly the chick went "Wow! Pow!" Timid little chick no longer! Just goes to show you the power of a background and how it can change the mood of a painting!
I could paint this chick like Andy Warhol's soup cans with all sorts of background colors, just to see the difference... hmmm...
This sweet baby lamb was a cousin or some such to "Baaabee" the little black lamb from a couple weeks ago. I don't know what kind of sheep they were, but the herd had mostly white mamas and quite a large number of black lambs. Some of the lighter lambs had some variations of grays in their wool. Almost silvery and quite pretty!
Our cats are so photogenic, I have hundreds of really nice pics to choose from of Mewler, and Argie too. One of these years I'll paint one that we will keep, but these days I'll sell just about anything!