Sunday 10 April 2016

Dog Project - Part 5 - Finishing en grisaille and starting colour

Yesterday, I worked en grisaille to paint a tonal map underlayer that I would paint over in gouache. Today - my last day of annual leave for some months - I had a big sleep-in and then went shopping for a new bit of filming equipment (review coming later today!) and some biscuits and then came back home to work on the Dog Project some more. On my way home, I got a text from B (whom I'd shown the charcoal sketch) - he loved the charcoal and didn't want me to paint it, bless him, so I sent him the unfinished tonal map and carried on ;o)

First of all, I completed the tonal map en grisaille, including adding in the pure white bits (the colours I'm using for this are listed in yesterday's post). 
The area outside of the window is not a tonal map - it's just a sketch to guide me. I'd already picked out the colours of Winsor and Newton Designers' Gouache that I wanted to use - I have them all dried into a palette but I decided today to use them direct from the tubes as I wanted to be sure they were really clean - this is how glamorously I store my gouache tubes:
("Danish" biscuits tin - these, full of quite nice biscuits, are £1.00 in most "pound shop" chains in the UK - I am a big fan of pound shops...!)

I blobbed-out some gouache onto the lid of my big studio watercolour palette as that's a nice flat surface.

From top left, in rows: Raw Umber, Primary Yellow, Primary Red, Primary Blue, Permanent Green Middle, Permanent Yellow Deep, Ivory Black, Zinc White - the full details of which one can be found on my gouache colourchart post.

I began with some browns to paint the windowframe and the drawers - a mix of Raw Umber with varying amounts of Permanent Yellow Deep did just the trick! I then tackled the window by painting in a sunset with a kind of impressionist-style gradient (it's far away!) of Primary Blue to Primary Red via a beautiful wine-like purple that they made when mixed. I then brewed up a range of greens, first painting in the midtone green (Permanent Green Middle, as is), then a light green (adding Primary Yellow) and a mucky dark olive green (adding Ivory Black). The walls in the photo this was based on were a kind of neutral liver-y brown, but I wanted to warm it up so I mixed Primary Blue and Primary Red to make a deep wine-purple, then added Zinc White to make a tint and then added Raw Umber a little at a time to get this creamy, muted purple:

Pretty isn't it? I also made a slightly olive-y green to paint the blanket that covers Dog - Permanent Green Deep mixed with small amounts of Permanent Yellow Deep and Raw Umber. I painted that in a bit too thick so the tonal map didn't quite show through. Finally, I made a loose wash of Raw Umber mixed with Permanent Yellow Deep to paint the blankets in the foreground - white are oatmeal-grey in reality, but as Dog is a pretty light colour, he'd be lost if I'd stuck to that! I've now left that to dry overnight and will probably add more layers to those blankets before I start to work on Dog himself.
[Yes, those ARE sheep on Dog's blanky - Dog had all the coolest stuff - including pirate jimjams. RIP Dog :( ]

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