First: Happy Canada Day, to my Canadian readers! Being so close to the Canadian border for the last several years has been very educational. I love listening to the CBC while I work, and today’s radio has been full of their nation’s anniversary, and the first royal visit of Will and Kate. Right now is a repeat of a show from this date in 1957, including an interview with a man who was then 80 years old. Cool.
11″ x 14″ Acrylic on panel
©Xan Blackburn, 2011
But, back to this painting. Let’s give this girl her name, finally! This is Allegante Delaney, who has moved to Canada, and was recently made the grandmother of a pretty litter born in California.
I lost a day’s work yesterday while enjoying a visit with H’s cousins (okay, mostly to housecleaning in anticipation of their arrival.) When I came back into my studio this morning, it was to see that the elves had been working on my painting. Or at least it seemed more finished than I thought two days ago. Yeay!
Looking back at the last stage I showed you, everything is pretty much settled. What remained was detail, and a bit of balancing working all through the painting, making sure the perspective was clear, and that the focus stays on Delaney herself.
I spent a lot of time with the smaller brushes, as I always do at this stage, working back and forth between shadows and highlights to pull out details of the fur. I darkened the whole eye area on the shadow side. I also continued to balance the light reflecting warmly up from the grass and the rather narrow cooler band of shadow coming down from the top edge. Towards the very end, I washed up some of that yellow-gold into the underside of her face, up her sides, up her back legs. It surprised me how much I had to add into her front legs and chest area, but I really liked how it brought a sense of atmosphere into those areas. You can feel the heat coming up from the grass, now. Every painting is a learning experience for me! I love that.
|Allegante Delaney, detail
©Xan Blackburn, 2011
A bit of red into the tongue, and a touch into each eye, brought a beating heart into her face. I still had this red on the brush, and dabbed some into the edge of her ear and into her off back leg, to give a sense of the sun glowing through her. Wild with abandon, I then dabbed some into the dark foliage behind her, to complicate the color there, more true to nature.
The grass got glaze after glaze, blades and blades, too distinct, too fuzzy, too white, too green, too yellow … until I think I can stop.
Which brings us to the sleep-on-it stage!
Again from the CBC: One young woman who got to meet Prince William today said “he smelled so marvelous!” Love it!