Meet Jeff :-) Follow his Progress
Hey Happy Campers!
I am posting up to the minute progress photos of "Jeff" over on my Facebook Fan Page! Here I am going to assemble the comments and post in one area for those who start following Jeff's progress in the middle and want to catch up. MATERIALS: 12" x 24" gallery wrapped canvas, 1.5" deep. Liquitex Professional Heavy Body Paints. Palette knives and brushes.
Meet Jeff! My grown up daughter Emily LOVES giraffes and I have been thinking about painting a giraffe portrait for her for quite awhile. First painted the canvas gray and white with a large brush to get some color/paint on the canvas. Last night, I palette knife painted this gray and white texture and did a combination of transferring and drawing Jeff on the canvas so I have a map of where I am going. 3.5 hours so far. Using Liquitex Artist Materials professional heavy body paint.
2 hours later I have painted in where I want the high lights and most of both ears, slide show above :)
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I have some artists following Jeff's progress - so I snapped a pick and labeled the paints I am using ;-) Click on the photo for a couple acrylic painting tips ;-)
Last post I mentioned I transferred and drew in Jeff on the canvas as a map to where I am going. I am now doing the same thing with color. This is kind of tight for what some artist call under painting, but Giraffes have a lot of detail to them. I generally Indicate my lights areas and some of the darkest areas first. As you can see in the first post and now, I get kind of fixated on areas and do more than under paint 😍. No worries, we have a map to get us to the end.
I am using a reference photo, but not showing you because the face is from a copyrighted photo. The neck is from a CCO photo I found on Pexels.com. I printed out one other photo for the eyes. The face reference photo is darker than I want. NOTE this painting is a gift for my daughter. I can't sell this in anyway unless I get permission from the photographer.
To me this is a bit like paint by number. Except I am deciding the colors/mixes. I find it SO much easier to break a painting down into sides, sections, parts, pieces and then bits. Then all I am painting in one moment in time, for example, is the shape of the inside of the nose. OR putting down some paint to remind me where the light is shinning. Painting the shapes you see and not a 'giraffe' is super helpful.
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The thought is to get a layer of paint down keeping in mind to paint the spots and neck with variations of color and getting the first layer of the giraffe's mane on. Is it called a mane on a giraffe? I Glazed the purple tongue with some grays.
Now I go back over most of the giraffe painting, pushing back some spots, color etc. Finish the eyes and eyelashes. Lightening and darkening to see what I like. I like putting on a second layer of color because it looks richer in person and I like the subtle look of the bottom colors showing through and affecting the top layer of color (paint).
I think Jeff is done! My favorite daughter wants a white background with some of the gray showing through. We will see if Jeff needs adjusting after I get that done :) Time spent painting so far, 20 hours.
Favorite daughter Emily, who "Jeff" the giraffe painting is for, let me know before I started she wanted a textured white/light background. The medium gray background I started with is so the white texture, put on with a palette knife. will show. First three photos show getting the bottom white layer on. The third photo with the bottom layer of white texture looks good, but we thought is was a bit too much and was fighting with "Jeff" who is the star of the show! (NOTE: the photos smooth out the image more than in person).
Round #2 of the white texture is a lot of Mixing White (Zinc White) glazing over the whole background with a brush to soften the contrast. I also used some heavy body Titanium white to lighten some areas even more and to blend "Jeff" in with the background. The only touching up "Jeff" needed after all this 'white business' is to put back in a couple of eye lashes. I lightened the top right side of his neck some and I re-defined the tops of the ears.
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