Yesterday I didn't blog because I hadn't finished my latest painting of Emus. This painting is 20" X 30" as opposed to the usual 15" X 20" . I needed the larger format to put The Emu dad and his nine offspring on the entire piece of illustration board. It's a horizontal painting rather than the usual vertical, and it has a lot more subjects to paint. Now I thought it would be complete today, and I worked on it, but I needed to water the Iris garden and the Potted plant. It's gotten very hot here in San Diego, and the watering can't be ignored. Plus, my husband and I watched our God children and those two boys take a great deal of time and attention. We had fun, and I did paint but I also made some homemade potato salad, and some fried chicken for dinner. After moving household stuff to storage, and getting all tired, hot , and dirty, the boys parents were glad to get a good meal, and take home very worn out boys. However, I was worn out too. We then had more family stop by, and shared our bounty of nopales, oranges, and limes, and had a real good visit.
Now I decided I would blog this evening, share the changes I made on "In Our Father's Shadow", and share the progress I've made on the large Emu and Family Painting. I will probably change the dad's expression, and I still need to finish four baby Emus, and work on the pebbles. However, I thought perhaps you would like to see how the image looks near the beginning, and in the middle, and then perhaps tomorrow or Monday I will show the completed work and you can see the changes I make as I finish a painting. I did the dishes this morning, but the evening dishes are awaiting my attention. I will finish up here and get back to work. That's why the title of today's Blog is A woman's work is never done! Hope you enjoy the paintings, and the changes I made even though I thought the one painting was complete.
I start all these paintings with a rough sketch in pencil directly on the illustration board. I then clean up the drawing with an kneaded eraser. I then put washes of raw sienna watercolor (not Gouache) over the background and the chicks. I use a Cerulean Blue for the shadow area, also transparent water color. I then lay in gouache for the father Emu from the colors I premix before starting the painting. I lay in the blue of the neck, scalp, and beak, and then proceed immediately to gouache under painting working medium to dark, defining my form and saving highlights until the last. The feathers are layered from darks to medium to light, but are done in groups and patches. All the painting is a gradual build up of form and color. If I want to change something I wipe it out with paper towel and water, and then add what I feel will make the painting more effective. I take pictures frequently, for they help tell me where something is "off" or disturbing to the eye. If you have any questions, ask, and I will answer you back in the comments section of this blog. I hope this info is helpful, and that the pictures combined with the words help you understand my process of painting. The original sketch was done on a regular sheet of fax paper, and the cartoon came out of my imagination from a silly thought or picture in my head. Keep on painting what you love, and write when you get work!