The Start of something Small

Today I want to show you the first few steps of a little 6x8 painting I began recently. The first step is the initial tone of the canvas board and the transfer of the line drawing. Sometimes I’ll work out the values in pencil at this stage, but in this case I didn’t because the dappled light falling on the subject was too darn alluring to spend more time doing what I refer to as ‘prep work’.

Lately I’ve discovered the joys of using Acrylic mat medium after this stage. I spray the drawing lightly with Krylon workable fix (outside so as not to get in trouble with the wife and cat) and then I’ll apply the mat medium. It goes on milky white then gets completely clear as it drys and creates a real nice surface to paint on.

Next I worked up the background darks trying to stay away from too much detail.

Then I began painting into the fowl itself. Working wet-into-wet (as in wet paint in background against wet paint in foreground) which lets me refine edges as I go.

Finally I developed the background further and started defining light and darks on the bird itself.

This will be taken to finish next time, but as I mentioned a couple posts ago, I had to put a work stoppage on all small pieces in order to paint a 24 inch by 12 inch canvas of our cat to enter into an upcoming exhibit called “Hello Kitty”.  As of this writing that piece is almost finished and I’ll share it with you in the days ahead.


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