Wednesday, November 16, 2005

The Making of a Bluebird Jewel #3

These are my paint vials - each filled with various colors of tinted liquid clay. This is what makes up the colors in my designs. Those are 3 of my favorite brushes - all are VERY small!

The first thing I always do when painting an animal, bird or person, is create the eye(s). The expression in the eye(s) must be right for me to continue. It's like the eye looking back at me suddenly brings the art "to life", and once it becomes real, I become personally connected with the subject. I'm connected now with this little fella - he has my full attention!

Here I have layed down the lightest undertones of color in the design. Though I will add darker colors over these lighter ones, by doing this stage first, the piece will end up with a realistic glow. You might notice the holly berries are orange in this photo. That's because although at first glance, the berries just seem red, they actually have an orange cast to them. By adding the orange as the base color for the berries, I'm hoping to be able to recreate the look of the real berries.

Now I'm lucky....the holly bush is right outside the window and I can glance up and view it as I go. The bird is gone, of course, but I've painted numerous bluebirds before, so I believe I can guess at his coloring enough to create a realistic version of him. :)

At this point, I haven't painted in a background color because I haven't decided what color I'm going to use yet. I could go ahead and fire the piece now, and add the additional colors in layers over the top - however, since my bottom layer is still so very thin (notice you can still see my pencil marks through the color), I'm just going to let the piece sit for about 30 minutes and let the color set without firing.

So what do I do in the 30 minutes while the piece is resting? I could eat breakfast...I could take a walk...I could work on my next design. However, since I really want to do a good job on the bluebird, I think I'll glance over photos of bluebirds just to make sure I get his coloring and markings realistic enough. :)

Just in case you're curious, so far, I have 2 hours and 15 minutes in this project. (I began at 7:30 am with the first sketch, and it's now 9:45)

More later!

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