My drawing and painting life
or: One of the best of November so far
I kept from yesterday’s post two paintings I think were among the best of the first half of November. They are a piece about a fox in mixed media (see below) and an oil painting (W.I.P.). Here’s the fox and how it came about.
Before I painted this one, I made several fox drawings first to get to know my subject. I didn’t really plan to also paint a fox the same day. When I saw the paper with orange and green marks on it – that was lying on my stash of prepared background – it fitted the bill precisely. So I just drew with ink and added gesso and watercolor.
How the fox came about (what I wrote the day after)
Day 70 / November 9. Several things came together in this painting. I was feeling stressed over something. I should be doing homework for my oil painting class. But I felt I needed to draw to calm me. I have joined a painting challenge recently, to make a painting with animals every two weeks. Because I thought I could do with the inspiration and being in a group like that. The current challenge is to make a painting with a fox in it. So I started out making drawings of the fox, not a subject I’ve worked on before. Starting with drawing felt like a good idea, fun to try, and probably wouldn’t succeed at first and that was OK with me. Just drawing to get the feel of the animal in preparation for a painting which I probably would do later. I was starting to feel better , that worked for me too. In the end I thought I’d better go one step further, and use what I gained from the drawings (seeing, seeing) to put it into a colored painting straight away.
You should know that earlier on in the day I smashed some paint on top of pages that were already colored a bit. As a result the pages were at the forefront of my mind. Making smash pages has been my go to arting method for the last two weeks. Something I can do quickly – even when nothing else works, this will be waiting to finish some other day. And this day it worked! I picked one of my smash pages. It seemed to fit the color scheme needed for a fox (orangish brown on it and green for the background).
Another thing worked in favor of this painting coming about. I have recently been drawing in ink some more too (not animals, but hey! that’s ok) – so I’m getting used to drawing with a brush. I didn’t know if I could do the fox , but thought: ‘Let’s try if I can do this in ink’ (and no worries, as tomorrow there’s another day, remember?). So ‘off I went’, grabbed the ink, a brush and drew it. And then splashed watercolor on it and carved it out of the background with line and gesso.
I wanted to be quick about it, fit it into a 15 minute time frame. I figured that would be good too, to give up the idea of perfect paintings.
I made a photo with the paint and gesso still wet. The end result is slightly lighter.
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