Some months ago I started a new painting of a Raven with acrylics on hardboard, first time trying this support. I wanted to keep it simple but also wanted to add some celtic into the design. So to begin I print out my reference in relation to the size I want the artwork to be and grid it for upscale – basically I am doubling or tripling the size of the printout. The reference of the raven I obtained from RobertPointer at PMP website (unfortunately I can’t share the actual reference image here due to laws of their site but you can go check it out there). I then grid and draw it up on my support…
Then the real fun begins! Time to paint! I am unsure as to how I want the background to look at this stage but I know I don’t want it dark because the bird is dark so I’ve gone with a similar colour palette to the reference photo, I loosely apply some background colour. Great thing about acrylics is I can alter colours later if I want. I decide to start with the bottom of the bird and work my way up, I tend to work a section at a time but I’m never truly finished with one section until I’m done with the painting because as I go along I often see colours I need to add that I didn’t see before, there’s always more!
Unsure about how I am going to paint the celtic symbol but also know I need to keep it light, I am not wanting a busy background so for now I just paint it white. The bird is not looking like much at this stage but it’s progressing. I’m using blues and browns and a bit of black and making colours up as I go. Acylics dry really quick which can be a pain but also good at the same time. I use a blending medium to prolong the drying process so I can blend easier. I do so by applying directly to the painting on the area I am about to work, once it becomes tacky I move onto another area and then once that becomes tacky I can go back to the one I was working before and layer again if needed, and so on.
As I’m getting higher up on the bird I begin to add purple and lighter shades of blue (above). I’m mixing my greys with browns also. I’ve added another layer of background colour too, bumped up the colour a bit and added a shade of orange. I am using Atelier Interactive Acrylics with Jo Sonjas and Atelier Interactive clear painting medium.
There is lots of layering as I go as I build up the painting bit by bit. At this stage I feel I need to do something with the celtic design so using the background colours I decide to outline it, still don’t know if I’m happy with that yet.
More progress to come soon ….