I'm starting a new painting I'm calling "Peacock On A Limb" On day one, I'm painting a pale blue background to act as the sky,
and did a sketch in charcoal.
Last night, I livestreamed me working on the underpainting for this piece. I wish I had taken more pictures during it. At one point, it looked to me like he was wearing a scarf. I ended up covering up all the feather detail I had painted, by the way. I realized it would be easier to paint the body in solid using the dominant color of a particular area, than to try to paint around lots of tiny detail. I painted the lower third of his body pale gray, the upper third black, and the middle part a medium gray. Anyway, this is what he looks like now.
I added more feathers using titanium white and various size round brushes to the uppermost part of the peacock's chest and tail. I also worked on his head by layering various shades of gray and made by mixing titanium white and oxide black.
I added more shades of gray and white highlights to the peacock's chest and continued work on his head.
I went to his right wing and painted some more shades of gray made by mixing titanium white and mars black. I also put more dark gray and black in his head.
When it came time to start adding color, I started by mixing a small amount of dioxazine purple into a medium grey made by mixing zinc white and ivory black and applied this over most of the painting. I used more water for the area around the feathers so more of the underpainting would show through. I only had a small amount of paint on my brush for each stroke. I used a combination of a small round brush and a small filbert.
I mixed more purple into the gray purple I had mixed and brushed some of that onto the right wing. I used a liner brush and some zinc white and painted thin lines of white on some of the feathers. I went over these with a thin glaze of purple to blend the lines into the wing.
I have some gray/blue already mixed in a tube, so I used that to paint part of the peacock's feathers, with varying levels of opacity depending on the area I was painting.
For the head, I used the same blue and purple colors that I had mixed for the body. I mixed varying amounts of water with my paint on my brush, which is why the colors are more opaque in some areas than others.
I also mixed a gray made from titanium white and mars black with a lot of matte medium to make it sheer and applied that in a sheer glaze along the bottom. I mixed some burnt umber into that color, along with more medium and applied a glaze of that on top. Lastly I mixed some titanium white and mars black, and, using a medium sized round brush, applied strucks of this color to break up the mass of brown and gray.
In today's painting session, I started by applying titanium white in small areas with a liner brush. I realized I would need to bring my brownish gray color up further, so I mixed more of it and interrupted by painting of white to put a wash of brownish gray up to where the blue ended. Then after trying to paint streaks of sheer gray and finding that it didn't work, I mixed opaque gray from zinc white and mars black and put this in various places all over the bottom third of the peacock's stomach using a liner brush.
I then took that same liner brush, and this time used just plain titanium white to paint smore dots and lines on or around my gray streaks.
I took a small round brush and widened the gray areas where white was. I took the same brush with some titanium white and intensified the white areas on the upper right hand corner. Lastly, I mixed up a darker version of my background color and put this on the right hand side to emphasize the light coming toward that area.
I stayed away from this painting for several weeks to work on other things, but when I finally went back to it, the last thing I did was glaze some magenta over it to brighten the colors a bit. And Voila! Here it is.
Painter of portraits and wildlife