Tuesday, November 8, 2011

A to B: African Grey

Yesterday I finished my largest painting thus far.  As we all know I love drawing birds; so I was very lucky to be commissioned to paint this beautiful African Grey parrot.  I had such fun and it's a completely different experience using a step ladder to paint a picture!

I thought I'd go through a step-by-step of the process in case anyone is curious.

Quality reading material and scented candles being used as paperweights

First thing (after tracking down the largest paper possible) was to flatten the paper off the roll.  It's a total bitch to handle until it's been flattened out.  This is 300gsm Saunders Waterford Rough Watercolour paper bought from John Purcell Paper in Brixton.  (Amazing place for those of you requiring paper; you can get big quantities of the best without crippling your finances and they have the best sketchbooks I've ever touched.)

I taped up on to a wall and gridded the paper, along with a sketch I had done so I could scale the picture up correctly.

I painted with Dr Ph Marten's Hydrus liquid watercolours and work from light to dark, building from practically water to black.  I mixed every shade of grey myself from colours and never touched the 'carbon black'.  

First wash

Second wash outside the outline

Second wash on the parrot

A touch of red and the begining of the third wash

Third wash done and some added depth to the red on the tail

Black done and red reddened

Et voila!  I have ordered a mammoth poster tube and this painting will shortly be winging its way to its new owner.  Happy days.

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