' LITTLE FLAME ' red panda watercolour painting
original 12" x 8"
Finally after a lot of hard work here is my little red panda girl! There were many aspects of this painting that were highly challenging and really pushed my abilities and patience, but I persevered and wouldn't give up. The hardest aspect was the colouring - how often does one see a painting whereby the colours are dull and lifeless or have an unrealistic harsh saturation? My style of painting requires a good balance which is pleasing to the eye, this can sometimes be helped by your chosen surrounding colours.
I chose a simple gradient backdrop of indigo / peach / antique pink mix to pick up tones in her face, not too fussy as I knew there was a lot of texture and detail in the fur type. Normally I would include some textural effects in the background but this one required a little more simplicity. I spent most of this picture painting it upside down / side wards and on the diagonal! This was due to the long thick fine fur as I moved around her forehead and face, the most part was working inward toward her main features. I didn't want to make the painting 'easier' for myself as I think character can be found in many aspects of an animal, and for this one it was her fur. The constant change of direction and texture really captures the spirit of this beautiful girl. The fuzzy frazzled edging of the fur was enjoyable and more free to play with - this fur type is to protect it against rain and cold in its mountainous habitat.
Once I had painted in her black underparts, I had to very carefully and delicately work the white fur on her chin and muzzle, lots of layers and subtle colour blending and changing. The 'white' parts on this picture are what balance the composition out as a whole.
The main colours I used for this painting were - white, black, cadmium red, alizarin crimson, ultramarine, burnt umber, cadmium yellow, cerulean blue.
I hope you like her, on to the next painting! :)
Thankyou Mikion, for the kind use of your photo!