May 6, 2015

BackgroundsThat Paint themselves!!


Backgrounds seems to always drive us crazy!
Too busy!
Not busy enough.

Too Dark! 
Not dark enough.

My answer?

 Suggest One!!

 It combines my need for a realistic drawing of my subject with his environment.  But at the same time gives a looser feel.
 And to top it off, it will almost paint itself!!
Caught in the Light - Watercolour - 16 x 20 Framed
To understand how this happens you should first check out last week's blog "Backgrounds, More on Painting Backgrounds".Where you will see the prep - doesn't look like anything, eh?!  But remember, I was aiming for a night setting.  Only the owl itself was blocked out, everything else was painted. 

As I started in with my plan for the stump and log things just happened.  All of a sudden the background came alive with texture, colour and movement.  Things began to 'look like something'.  That's what I call the "suggestive" part. It is almost like magic!!

I have included a few photos as I worked.  You can see the more I did the more the background came alive.  It really did 'paint' itself! 
Caught in the Light - WIP 1

Caught in the Light - WIP 2
Once I was finished my barn owl, I went back into the background with some light glazes to tone it down.  It is really important to get in and get out fast so you don't drag and mix the under layers.   I like to make sure everything is dry before I go in with a glazing layer.  I also work on tidying up edges from the frisket, darken things or quieting things down. 

To me this process is kind of like the oil painters that block everything in or tone their canvas.  It gets rid of the white surface and gets you into your picture. Certainly something to be said for that.

I have been focusing on Backgrounds lately on my posts, if you are looking for more ideas on working with backgrounds see:  March 19 - How to paint the background?
How do you handle your backgrounds?

Good luck with your backgrounds, and remember a Suggestion can go a long ways!!

Contact me to create a portrait of your animal.  See more examples of my pet portraits on my Commission a Drawing Page.


Brenda Hill CDM said...

Nice Wendy , it makes the owl look 3D

Gillian Olson said...

Beautiful effects Wendy,

Wendy Mould AFCA said...

Thanks Brenda, the background really did add a new dimension to picture. I was very excited with how it worked out.

Wendy Mould AFCA said...

Thanks Gillian, it really is amazing the different things you can do with paint and salt. It is always a surprise in the morning when everything is dry!!