Monday, 16 July 2012

mountain lion progress - colours

It's amazing how surrounding colours can change the look of other colours, the moment I started to colour around the eyes they took on a different colouring all together!

As this colour range is new to me on an animal, I thought I'd share my colour choices with you. I really enjoy studying colour and mixing my paints - there is never a colour that is left untouched before it goes onto paper and I often use every colour on my palette in every painting, searching for the combination codes. I choose to work straight onto my paper, with no real preparation at all. I do all my studying of the chosen subject as I go, my knowledge of the particular animal grows as my painting develops further. It is so important to know your chosen animal as well as finding the three-dimension within a flat image. Art teachers at school always wrote of how I could bring the life into a picture and create an illusion of touch to a two-dimensional piece of paper. I would always bring my art into every subject whether it be a design for a science poster or a leaflet in geography - I also turned every project around so that I could include animals one way or another!

Watercolours can be used as weak as you like - this in itself this changes the shade of a colour dependant on how diluted the paint is, my colours are layered according to intensity of colour. For instance, on my amur leopard painting (can be seen above in 'Watercolour Art') the overall colour of the cat was predominantly achieved with 'Burnt Umber', this is a dark brown in colour however used diluted it brings out pale yellow tones with lovely subtlety. I next to never use an actual 'Orange' coloured paint as the colour is far too harsh and almost luminous, I much prefer to find my own range. To these I would add red tones, or green / blue tones dependant on the coloured lighting within the picture. It's quite difficult to explain as I don't use any colour in its purist form straight from the tube. However, for this exercise I will list the colours used (so far) in the underlaying of this mountain lion. The main fleshy colour is achieved with a cadmium red / ultramarine / yellow / white / black mix. I've also had to experiment to find silvery lilac tones on the nose area.

- Alizarin Crimson
- Cadmium Red
- Cadmium Yellow
- Ultramarine
- Burnt Umber
- Cerulean Blue
- Black / White

I have since darkened the eye colouring, strengthening the glow and overshadow at the top of the eye. As I am now working with the subtlety of colour variations to act as my 'facial markings', I need to make sure this don't become to sharp and to blend the fur naturally. The difficulty with this mountain lion is that he is short-haired on his face, so there is not a lot of character I can put into his fur apart from under the chin where there'll be slightly matted tufted parts. I am enjoying this painting but finding it very challenging too! Jules


Gowri said...

Can't wait to see the mouth and the chin completed. It's looking lovely!

Sharon Whitley said...

thank you so much for explaining some of the process you through - I was particularly interested in you saying that you do all your studying of the chosen subject as you go - I like that! I also like that you seem to start with the eyes - it immediately brings the subject to life. Your watercolours are amazing - I find it incredible that you can get so much realistic detail - what patience you must have and you really capture their characters - I'm a huge fan!

Gary Jones said...

Hi Julia, just started following your blog after seeing your amazing paintings on facebook, have added you to my blog list. regards Gary

Julia Ruffles | wildlife artist said...

Thankyou Gowri :) I think the chin may be last this time!

Thankyou Sharon :) I think I need my painting to be alive in order to be motivated with all the fur!

Thankyou Gary :) you're very kind, I do link my blog posts to facebook too but they can easily be missed! Jules

Wendy Mould AFCA said...

This is really coming along. I find it very inspirational to read about your process. I am looking forward to finale.

hmuxo said...

OH JULIA!!! Another favorite. This one is shaping up so perfectly, as always. The color, the fur...I just love your work!!! and I look forward to your next post.

Julia Ruffles | wildlife artist said...

Thankyou Wendy / Hilda :) Jules

Roberto Rizzo said...

Julia, you're a great your works and your steges pictures.
It's a pleasure to have you as friend now on FB.
Have a nice day!

Julia Ruffles | wildlife artist said...

aww thankyou Roberto! Great to have you with me and my art journey!:) Jules

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