Monday, February 09, 2009

Celebrating Ecosystems

I finally received my painting process pictures from my boyfriend's camera and can show them off.

Step one shows me applying the blue masking fluid. I heavily masked this piece to be able to do many layers of washing for the underwater parts of the composition. The nib of my Quikmasque bottle jammed, so poured some out and applied it using a paper clip. Took FOREVER!

Step 2 shows the basic wash over everything that's underwater. the dark blue stuff is the dried masking fluid as I prepare to paint the sky.

Step 3 shows a lot of work darkening the sky and doing a little outline of the underwater animals.

Step 4 shows masking off the underwater animals. the masking fluid is light blue and opaque when it's wet. As it dries it become transparent and a darker blue.

Step 5 I used standard blue painters tape the mask of the large areas and did final darkening in the sky.

Step 6 I have finished the washes underwater and removed all the masking fluid, except on the narwhal's head.

Step 7 I have re-masked certain things (the squid in front of the sperm whale, the stuff in the sand, etc) and finished the land animals. 7a is a close up.

Step 8 the sand is being painted, the ice berg is nearly done and the two big whales (sperm and humpback...haha) are basically complete. the salmon are finished and the belugas are nearly done.

Step 9 is more refining. the masking fluid is off of the squid and I'm starting on the spotted seal and the narwhal.

Step 10 the narwhal is done and I've added shadows, especially on the ice berg.

step 11 I'm working on the northern lights. Without a good reference photo it' really difficult. The rest of the animals are being colored in. the piece is almost done.

Then the final. In the last stages I added highlights with white acrylic (gouach takes too long to build opacity). I also worked heavily on the Aurora Borealis at home with a photo on my computer. I used the same colors in the aurora as reflections on the white objects (ice berg, snow, polar bears and arctic fox).

This piece was much less complicated than the Puget Sound piece, but it wasn't as familiar.

Taking the challenge concept much farther, I doodled up a thumbnail of the African savanna. The problem is that Africa has so many different ecosystems (though we usually only think of the major three) and Africa is home to mostly mega fauna...aka BIG animals. While doing my research, I decided that there are too many species to fit in just one piece. Because African plains are basically earth and sky, I did a horizontal composition. I also decided to make it a triptych (a three paneled composition made from 3 compositions). The left most panel represents the desert which transitions into the grassland dotted with Acacia trees and with a river ruing through it. the in the right panel the plains transition into a rain forest. If you look at the sketch, in the rain forest area there are more animals than in the entire Amazon piece! right now the final line art for the desert piece is done and I'm starting the center panel. I'd like to have the line arts for the whole thing done before i leave for Australia.

I have a concept for my Australia piece in my head already and I also intend on doing the Everglades soon thereafter.

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