I finished a new painting! It's an 8x10 acrylic on Belgian Linen titled "Squirrel Among The Palm Branches".
Adding color to this painting was started by glazing ultramarine blue mixed with black over the black parts of the background. I added this to some zinc white and used it to paint part of the leaves. I decided that they needed to brighter, so I touched them up with phthalo blue, then finally went over that with gray made by mixing zinc white and mars black to tone it down.
I mixed a little bit of deep green permanent into zinc white, thinned it with matte medium, and applied it in three layers onto the uppermost leaves, including the branch that's hanging over the squirrel. I mixed a bit more of the deep green permanent into the zinc white, and using a small liner brush, started painting over the darkest parts. I mixed a touch of ultramarine blue with transparent yellow medium to make a yellow green and used this to paint the leaf on the far right hand side of the piece. I used sap green to paint the leaves that are in the shadows. I glazed transparent yellow medium over the bottom portion of these leaves. Other colors I used for the leaves were transparent yellow medium and phthalo blue mixed with zinc white.
I painted the squirrel varying shades of gray and layered ultramarine blue over the lighter gray and burnt umber over the darker gray. You can barely see the blue and that's the way I want it.Alternating between a small round brush and a liner brush, I used varying shades of burnt umber to paint the fur texture, then went over these lines with gray to blend them in with the rest of the fur. I lightened the brown portion of the squirrel by going over it with a few layers of zinc white.
I went back to the squirrels head and painted more fur texture using a very light gray made by mixing zinc white and mars black, applying it with a small round brush. I used a liner brush to paint touches of zinc white and finally titanium white onto my gray patches. I mixed zinc white and mars black and applied several layers of this to the squirrels face and legs. I mixed titanium white, oxide black and ultramarine blue and started to apply it two the squirrel's chin. I realized it was still too dark, though, so I put some titanium white out onto my applied this color to the squirrels face and the inside edges of his legs. I could see there was some more white, but it wasn't as intense. First I tried adding more layers of my transparent gray color, but this wasn't working. I decided to mix an even lighter version of the opaque grey by mixing it with more titanium white. I painted this in long strokers, following my reference photo as closely as possible, using a small filbert brush. The fur looked so much fluffier after I'd done that.
I went over the lighter shapes on the right-hand side of the ground with gray made by mixing a little bit of Mars black into zinc white. I applied this in three layers using a large filbert brush. I mixed Dioxazine purple into zinc white to make a pale lavender color and glazed it over the gray. Finally, I glazed more of my mixed gray over the lavender.
To paint the gold portion of the fur, I started by mixing burnt umber into hansa yellow light. When I put this onto the canvas, though, I could see it was way too dark, so I layered Dioxazine purple over it to tone it down. I glazed transparent middle red over that to brighten it, then finally went over the whole thing with zinc white.
Now it was time to paint the nose and mouth. For this I used three different shades of purplish brown with I made by mixing van dyke brown, oxide black and dioxazine purple. I each shade with matte medium before applying it to the canvas.
I went back and added more texture to the squirrel's fur. I used my liner brush and my small round brush, depending on how thick I needed my lines to be. I used a grayish brown made by mixing zinc white, mars black, and burnt umber, thinned with lots of matte medium to make it transparent. Then I used a dark brown made by mixing burnt sienna with a little bit of burnt umber.
I mixed titanium white oxide black, and burnt umber to make a light grayish brown shade, and using a small round brush, I painted small strokes of this color where appropriate on the squirrel's body. I went over most of that with a glaze of transparent gray made by mixing zinc white and mars black to tone it down and blend it in with the rest of the squirrel's fur. I remixed the color I used on his legs and put a glaze of this over his cheek.
I mixed more of the pale grayish brown color I'd used earlier and painted around the squirrel's eye. I glazed over this with gray made by mixing zinc white and mars black to tone it down a bit. I mixed zinc white with dioxazine purple to make a lavender color, thinned that with a lot of matte medium, so it would be barely noticeable, and, using a small round brush, applied it in different areas all over the squirrel's body. I took titanium white, with a small round brush, and applied on on the squirrel's cheeks. I glazed over that with the same gray I'd mixed earlier because I thought it stood out a bit too much.
For the tail, I mixed the same color of golden brown that I'd used on the rest of the body. I mixed more brown and red into it to make a more brownish color. When, I got it onto the canvas, I thought it was too brown, so I started glazing yellow and white over them.
I went back to the branch that's hanging over the squirrel, and using a liner brush, applied titanium white very subtly to it. I applied thin strips of sap green over the pthalo blue I had painted on some leaves.
For one of the leaves, I decided the glazing I was doing wasn't working, so I used a small round brush to paint a strip of cadmium yellow medium along the right-hand side. That was my a-ha moment. That little bit of opaque yellow gave the leaf an almost glowing effect. I went on to mix various shades of blue and yellow-green using the cadmium yellow medium, ultramarine blue, and titanium white and put them in the appropriate places. I mixed zinc white with a touch of phthalo blue and put this in a patch. I mixed sap green with oxide black and painted it in the upper portion. I used transparent yellow, both the middle shade and the azo yellow deep, over certain areas of the leaf. I went over most of the leaf, particularly the pthalo blue with zinc white, and then zinc white mixed with mars black to mute the colors slightly. I painted the tips with varying shades of greyish brown made by mixing titanium white, oxide black, and a little bit of burnt umber. I used the lightest of these shades for the very bottom of the leaf, the middle shade for the outer edges and the darkest shades for the edges of the middle shade. I used a small round brush to paint a small amount of titanium white over the lightest brown I had painted. The brown I painted along the left side ended up covering up the yellow I had painted, so I used a round brush to paint some cadmium yellow medium back in.
I used a color called nikkel yellow titanium, which I was using for the first time now, and a small round brush, to paint a line along the left-hand edge.
I painted over my red/yellow/brown spots gray, then went over those spots with thin layers of transparent burnt sienna.
Painter of portraits and wildlife