I'm starting to get back into full swing with my oil paintings now and this is the second piece after my new fox painting to have the underpainting stage completed.This is the first time ive dared to try a simple dark background in a painting but as this tiger piece is as much about the lighting as the cat itself I thought it might help to add a little drama.I took the original photographs that I'm using to put together this painting during my recent trip to Thailand late in the afternoon when there were lots of lovely contrasty shadows about and my task is going to be to try and pick up on the blues and purples that I saw in those shadows as well as the highlights from the bright sunshine.Its a simple enough piece but the cat was so handsome that I couldn't resist this lovely portrait.
I currently have two oil projects underway but this fox painting is the only one worth looking at right now.Ive painted this particular fox before in a simpler setting but this time I wanted to attempt it again with a bit more going on in the painting.In this studio snap you can see that ive just about completed the underpainting and I'm attempting to introduce colours in the background that mimic the fox itself.The composition is coming together organically as I proceed and I think the whole thing will end up a lot darker,but for the moment I'm just putting ideas down as they come to me.I always particularly enjoy the underpainting stages because it feels like the pressure's off and if the colours aren't quite right,well heck,who cares and I get to use larger brushes in quite a painterly manner,in stark contrast to the detailed layers to come.The painting will now be put to one side to dry for a while before proceeding with a second,more detailed,coat of oils.
After adding a few details here and there to my latest fox portrait I'm happy that ive done enough with it now.The painting measures 22" x 18".Now to move on to a couple of new oil painting projects whilst I try to work out what subject I'd like to tackle next in graphite.
My little tiger cub drawing is now complete and ive decided to call it 'Precious' as each one of these tiger cubs now are with so few left in the wild.The finished drawing measures 13" x 19" and after a day or two left on the board it will go off to my bespoke framers to have a beautiful hand-finished frame made especially for this piece.
This past week or so ive finally got cracking on a project to build a large studio complex in my garden which,i hope,will not only give me more room for projects and print storage but also take on some tuition work for a couple of students.i will post some photos of the works as they progress but for the time being work is limited to clearing to huge outbuildings from the concrete slab that will eventually be the base for my new studio.studio time has been very limited this week and I finally managed to squeeze in a few hours today to progress my tiger cub drawing a bit further.luckily progress on the cat has been quite rapid as ive incorporated pierre noire pencils by conte into the piece to create the stripes in one layer rather than multi-layering graphite to achieve the darks.ive found them very useful but use of them has to be well-planned as they don't always mix well with graphite.
Whilst I wait for my oil painting projects to dry ive been working on another pencil drawing of a tiger cub.No background this time and I think it'll probably stay that way.the drawing is a combination of graphite,carbon and pierre noire pencils,the latter being particularly useful in rendering areas of flat black tone.
Of late ive been working backwards and forwards on oils and pencils in a bit of a disjointed manner as I try and settle back into the studio after my month-long absence and whilst my new pencil drawing is not really ready to be posted as yet I have managed to get a bit more done to my fox painting.its been a little bit of a struggle over the last couple of days but its back on the right track now,i think my mind has been a little distracted with so many images floating around my head since my Thailand trip that its been difficult to settle some times.Anyway I'm putting this to one side to dry before I tackle the last few areas of concern and then hopefully I can call it a wrap!