Here's a tricky one. Water. How is this going to work with this new palette? I'm used to working with the many colors of water but that is starting on a white to orange base.
"Diving" in, I start mixing colors.
Usually I would do a value study using a raw sienna/ burnt sienna turpentine wash. Not needed with this Venetian Red gesso. I'm exploring how much to let peek through and finding the richness of the background is working pretty well. The greens seem to sing.
Getting that splash of yellow on the left side of the painting has added some brightness which it needed. Click on the photo to enlarge it and you can see all the red in the main tree.
Adding more naples yellow for the sunlit sandbank helps the darker areas read as shadows.
A while ago I bought some Daniel Smith gold gesso. It is metallic and I liked its effect on some small paintings.
I also saw some Venetian Red gesso which I thought someday I would like to try. There are three miniatures I wanted to do so I ordered the red. Why not go for it? I gessoed each miniature with the Venetian Red then drew my reference outline.
Beginning with this elephant piece, I mixed my usual colors and started with the sky. Aaaaagggghhkkk! Totally wrong color! It is much too light and dull. I mixed a new oil color and it was only a little better.
Hmm. This Venetian Red gesso is going to call for a complete overhaul of my palette. The colors I would usually mix are just not going to work. There are two choices: 1.) Wipe off the paint and put white gesso over this red. Major downside, I have also gessoed the other two miniatures with the red AND drawn those pieces. This would mean starting over on threepaintings. OR, 2.) give this a chance for 90 minutes. If I haven't figured out how to rethink all my colors, I can go to option 1.
Well, I passed the 90 minutes and kept going. I think this is going to work.
I am almost done. I thought when I got to this point all that was left were the splashes. Not quite.
The hind-quarter of the ram needs to be heftier.
The shadow underbelly of the ram needs to be less sharp.
I have some weird things going on with his front legs
And, I think the lion is all wrong. Well, mostly wrong. He needs to be less defined which will give greater depth to the scene. And, I think I should switch the lighting to the other side of his head.
For one day I am Artist of the Day on the Artist for Conservation web site. If you are not familiar with this group, take a look around their web site at www.natureartists.com
This is a group of artists from around the world dedicated to supporting nature through their art.