Thursday, September 10, 2009

September 10, 2009 - Day 31

Da Vinci watercolor on 140lb Aquarelle cold press watercolor paper

The painting above is as far as I could get using just watercolor paint. I just couldn't get the highlights or the fur right. I tried "mapping" out the highlights before I painted them and although they were in the right place the color and brush strokes were not right.

This second picture is what the painting looked liked after I used Prismacolor colored pencils to provide additional detail and highlights. While the completed painting looks much better with the colored pencils my goal is to be able to paint realistic fur without "cheating" by using colored pencil or acrylic paint.

I find it easier to paint smooth subjects (vases, fruits, vegetables, etc,) because the edges between the highlight/midtone/shadow are sharper and more distinct. I am finding it difficult to paint the highlight/midtone/shadow on soft subjects like fur or grass or trees. I just can't "see" what the shades, colors and values are or what brushstrokes to use.

Well, all I can do is keep practicing. With every painting I am learning how to create different effects. Eventually I will know what I need to do to create fur. The first chance I get I am going to go down to the library and pick up a book on painting animals in watercolor.

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