I finished a new painting! This one is called “Orangutan Hanging Out”. It’s an 11×14 acrylic on a Fredrix Green Label canvas. I was going to use another photo, but I thought the way the orangutan had her hand over her mouth in the one I chose would make a more interesting picture.
For the orangutan’s fur I mixed cadmium red medium with burnt umber and transparent mixing white. I was a bit worried about the color on the palette, but when I put it on the canvas, it was perfect. I glazed this color in light layers over my underpainting.
I thought I’d made a mistake by just using the lighter reddish brown color over the middle of the chest and arms and that I should have just used transparent mixing white. When I put the transparent mixing white straight over the base reddish brown color, I could see that a combination of that and the lighter mixed reddish brown color were what produced the best results.
I put colors like blue and olive green in places you might not expect them, such as in the orangutan’s face and in the sticks around her. I don’t actually have a tube of olive green, so I mixed green with burnt umber to get the color.
I mixed dark green and grey for my background color, but after four layers, I could see it wasn’t giving me the depth I was looking for. I mixed a grey color with the transparent mixing white and applied this in a very thin glaze all over the dark green. Finally, I had the dense forest look I wanted.
For the large palm branch to the left of the orangutan, I used a combination of transparent mixing white and a mixed yellow-green, glazing this color over my underpainting in light layers. I then put titanium white over some parts to create the look of bright light shining on it.
For the leaves, I didn’t copy my reference photo exactly. I just used it as a guide.
Painter of portraits and wildlife