Sunday, March 18, 2007

Red Eyed Tree Frog - 5 -

Red Eyed Tree Frog - 5 - Part 8

"Consummatum est"

I'm not doing anymore on <-- this frog. At some point one has to declare, "IT IS FINISHED!" And in comparison to the other frog paintings already declared consummatum est - this one joins them... All these tree frog paintings you see here are on 100cm by 80cm stretched canvas.

I'm taking a well deserved break from frogs for the time being (even though my focus remains on completing my series...) but I am keen to get back to doing a few more watercolour landscapes.
Watch this space...

Art Expression

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Red Eyed Tree Frog - 5 - Part 7

Well, I've dealt to the rather blue background leaf and this is the result.
Yesterday I bit the bullet and decided it would either work or totally ruin the painting.
Instead I've landed up in no-man's land. It isn't ruined but it certainly isn't fixed.

I used Light Green to paint over the obvious blue areas of the leaf - blending that into the rest of the painting. Then I spent the whole day glazing over the background with diluted layers of Light Green. Waiting for it to dry before applying the next layer and the next - and so on.
Lesson/s learnt?: Viridian Hue is a lovely colour - BUT - only in the right context. I should have been brave enough to mix my own dark green from the start...

So my thoughts at the moment are:
  • that the background has lost some of it's solidness
  • the frog looks like it's hovering on the leaf rather than sitting on it
  • the luminosity of the frog body is lost in the optical mixing of the background
etc, etc, etc

My solution:
to put the painting back in the office and get on with other unfinished paintings until my mind has time to 'come up with the answer' or a friendly comment is left with helpful suggestion/s

Art Expression

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Red Eyed Tree Frog - 5 - Part 5 and 6

Red Eyed Tree Frog - 5 - Part 5 and 6

After my few days off from frogging I decided to get out the Lemon Yellow and Blue Lake to finally start painting the body. I have an unexplained aversion to mixing my own greens, but I do like the way Lemon Yellow and Blue Lake mix.

I squeeze out a blob of yellow and then squeeze about a fifth of that of blue - on the lid of a plastic ice cream container... No airs or graces with me - I don't even own an easle (though it's on my wish list)
Then: it's paint brush into water, (for the frog body, I only used a #12 Haydn) mixing the two together slightly on the plastic lid and transferring what's on the brush to the canvas where it's mixed further by the brush strokes and more water if required. (This frog body was painted differently to the ones in my previous series' - those were mixed directly on the canvas with a much thicker conistency and applied mostly with a dappled effect. This one was painted using flowing strokes. I didn't have to be too concerned about "detail" because the previous underpainting stages had taken care of that.)
Where I need to, I add more blue or yellow directly to the painted canvas (while it's still wet) to define specific areas. Check out the link above about mixing greens.

pre glazed frog
I then used washes/glazes of just Lemon Yellow to bring out the consistency I was after. As you can see, it has made the frog more luminous and vibrant.

glazed frog

Then a little more Orange on the hands and feet and Titanium White to accentuate the highlights brings me to this point.

Now I have to figure out how to deal to the leaf background, so will be back when that's done...

Art Expression
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