Monday, April 27, 2009

Miniature-Portrait of Bronwyn

"Bronwyn" NFS
2.75" x 4.75" Miniature watercolour portrait

This is a small portrait I did of a very special girl...Bronnie is a black great Dane and is a frequent visitor to our home. She is loving and sweet and gets along with everyone. As I was painting, I noticed I had left the camera on my desk so....

I begin by drawing my subject in pencil directly onto watercolour board and lay a pale red/pink wash to one side. As Bronwyn's collar is a pinky-red, I want this colour to peek through the background in places as well, for a cohesive look.

Cutting in carefully, I lay a wash of greens/blues and burnt sienna behind Bronwyn, coming back and floating in water and/or extra colour where necessary. I didn't use any masking fluid here because of the size. I can get a better outline by just painting.

After my background is completely dry, I start blocking in shadows with warm and cool blues. I also lifted some of the background colour out, as it was looking a little too dark.

Now I build up the colour of the dog with a variety of black and blue washes. Some are cool and some are warm, and I concentrate on what parts of the painting need to come forward or fade back as I apply them.

Now I just generally continuing on with washes and blending, building the colour to where it should be. When painting, I take short breaks and will often look at the painting in a mirror to see what is and what isn't working. Right now, I don't like the way her right jowl is pudging out at the bottom and I think her left ear is a bit too short. By lifting paint (with clean water) and adding washes, both these areas are corrected.

I now finish off the collar, touch up the dog overall with some additional blending and lifting. With the collar now painted, I wanted to see a few more rosy spots in the background, so I lightly laid in some small washes, and that's about it.
I'll come back and take one last look, pass it by my father/son critique panel and if all is good, sign and frame it :-D


Edward Burton said...

Beautiful painting, Kim. Wonderful job with the sheen of her coat.

Laure Ferlita said...

Thanks for sharing your WIP on Bonnie. I just finished a black lab and read your comments with interest.