Friday, 25 March 2011

NEW lemur painting

Hello, I have now finished the mother elephant on my graphite drawing but I've decided to have a little break as I was starting to go on autopilot with it - which is when I stop and then revisit as I want to stay excited and fresh with every piece. Plus I have been missing my colours!

This is a watercolour painting of a mother ring-tailed lemur and baby, a small painting at approx. 10" x 8", I started it probably about a month or so ago. Unlike other painting mediums, watercolour doesn't give you many 'second chances' if you place a brushstroke wrong. Therefore it does involve a lot of concentration and a steady hand. You may have noticed that I don't usually include background work into my paintings, this is mainly because I like the animal to be the main focus and for viewers to use their imagination and interpret the painting how they wish to. However, on this occasion I wanted to give the lemurs placement. They are such fun to watch and have such a quirky way of moving, you simply can't watch one without it making you smile :)

I've decided on a bright refreshing mixture of greens with bluey inserts to represent a leafy tree with the bright blue skies shining through the gaps. Here is the painting before I started the background and the point at which I'm starting from today, both lemurs are incomplete but you can see the overall desired composition of the piece.





8 comments:

Roger Brown My Botswana Art said...

Beautiful painting and the blurred greenery and light through the leaves add both perspective and insight to their habitat.

Julia Ruffles | wildlife animal artist said...

thankyou Roger :) that is exactly what I was hoping! It is a change to not paint just fur! Jules

Phil Davis said...

Incredible work Julia, so realistic,would love to know how you do the hair!

Julia Ruffles | wildlife animal artist said...

hello Phil thankyou for your wonderful comment :) I am asked this question all the time and sometimes it is difficult to answer but I'll try! I use a tiny brush with very few hairs on it - depending on the animal the fur will vary in thickness and coarseness - you then choose your brush accordingly and the brushstrokes that relate the best and most sympathetic to the animal. Lots of layering with differing tone on colours to achieve a realistic finish, I think another important part of the fur appearance is to understand the direction of fur growth and how the directions react with eachother when they 'clash' and change direction. I know it's easy to say this however practice and understanding of your subject (anatomy and outer appearance) really does help, thankyou, Jules

Andrew said...

I think that the background makes them stand out better.

Lesley Crawford, Gaia Art said...

Nice pose Jules, and lovely rendering of the fur. I like the contrasting green background.

Cheers
Lesley

Wendy Mould said...

Hi Jules, I like what you did for a background. Like you I don't always want to put one in but this one is colourful but does not take away from the animals. In fact it really seems to make them 'pop' off the page.
Nice work.

Julia Ruffles | wildlife animal artist said...

Thankyou so much Andrew/Lesley/Wendy :) your encouraging comments have given me the reassurance I think I needed regarding the background as I'm not used to painting them in, Jules

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