View Full Version : Alligator WIP

Mikki Petersen
07-02-2007, 01:43 PM
This probably belongs in A&W, but I post here. This one will take a while and it's really too early to be posting. I'm afraid if I don't post it now, it won't get finished. This is done from a ref photo in the RIL by Lisilk, one of my favorite photographers. It is sort of giving me the heebie-jeebies :eek: but the subject is so intriguing I couldn't pass it by.

The Ref photo:

And here's where I am after a mere 4 hours work, lol:

It's done on a full sheet of Art Spectrum, brick toned. Your comments are appreciated.


07-02-2007, 01:53 PM
Hoo-yee, Mikki, this is gonna be a beauty! That eye is already fantastic! Clearly your down time did not result in losing a bit of your talent and skill--I'm looking forward to seeing this progress!!


07-02-2007, 03:20 PM
Gators make good soup as well as good paintings! I can't wait to see the finished piece.


07-02-2007, 03:24 PM
I had to come check this out after you mentioned it in the Scumble! :D Great start! I assume you know you have his eye opened a bit more in your painting and that you want that...at least that's how it looks to me. You can see more of it that way so it's probably a good idea!
I'll keep an eye on this one! Ouch! Sorry....couldn't resist!


07-02-2007, 03:28 PM
Great start Mikki. The detail for this is mind boggling! I agree the eye is open more but since that is the focus, I think it works very well. The start on the skin is wonderful. Will check back. I'm flattered you chose my photo.


07-02-2007, 03:30 PM
Your off to a flying start! Great so far. Can't wait to se more.

07-02-2007, 04:08 PM
ooh this one will be fun. All those swirling colors and textures of his skin and the open eye staring.

07-02-2007, 04:33 PM
Looking Gorgeous so far! Great work!

07-02-2007, 04:51 PM
wow off to a great start,really can't wait to see more

bruce johnson
07-02-2007, 06:54 PM
Looking good Mikki... great start...

07-02-2007, 07:43 PM
I'm checking in on this one. A full sheet? Wow!! See you in a year :lol:

Pat Isaac
07-03-2007, 08:35 AM
What an intriguing subject, Mikki. I love that color paper and it is working well with the 'gator. Pulling up a chair.


M Douglas
07-03-2007, 10:08 AM
You're off to a great start Mikki! I'm looking forward to seeing your progress on this.


Charlie's Mum
07-03-2007, 11:52 AM
Thanks for posting the link Mikki - I'll keep looking in:D

Mikki Petersen
07-03-2007, 01:37 PM
Thanks everyone for the comments...Please keep looking as this is ia tricky one and I'll need the feedback. I've decided to post a daily update.

Here's today's update. I'm having trouble figuring out the coloration of the mottling of the gator's hide. The color is sort of a blue black gray purple? :eek:


I've reshaped the eye about three times now and am going to leave it alone and move forward. I've begun filling in the leaves, moving back and forth between them and the gator. I began with a really yellow green like in the photo but have toned it down to a less warm green so it does not detract from the gator.


M Douglas
07-03-2007, 02:35 PM
Hi Mikki, i'm loving the leaves! For the hide color some AS Finders blue violet might work.


Mikki Petersen
07-03-2007, 03:02 PM
Thaks Melodie, I'll try to track down that color.


Karen Margulis
07-03-2007, 05:02 PM
Looking great so far! I'll be watching and thanks for sharing this as a WIP!


07-03-2007, 07:53 PM
You made a good choice on the leaves I think. And I think what you've done with the texture of the gator's skin is excellent. I think the colouring will fall into place for you the way this is shaping up.

07-04-2007, 07:33 AM
Mikki, this is fantastic, i have just been looking at the reptiles in the RL myself, i saw this one..you are game. Its going to look wonderful..i have a few chosen from there too..just have to decide. hm. Cant wait to see an update..

07-04-2007, 09:45 AM
WOW :thumbsup: , what a beginning, make sure to post lots of updates :)

Piper Ballou
07-04-2007, 04:46 PM
Mikki, you are off to a great start...looking forward to seeing this one develop

Mikki Petersen
07-04-2007, 04:53 PM
Thank you again for the encouragement. This is coming along quite slowly. Keep fussing with the area in front of the eye. I've blown it off and redone it about five times now. Starting to block in the plant life. I'm starting to be concerned about getting arial perspective here...we shall see...

This is about 12 hours into the piece:

I'm hoping that by doing the front leaves more yellow green and the leaves on the other side more blue green and eventually blurring them as they recede it will give distancing.


07-04-2007, 05:38 PM
Mikki, this is just phenomenal! I get the need to show the leaves in back as farther than the ones in front, but remember there's only about 2 feet of air to put into perspective! Your color choice sounds like a good route, though--and how about making the back leaves smaller, too?

And it looks to me like you are making good, solid progress, even if it seems slow standing there---the eye is absolutely compelling, and the leaves and duckweed are starting to emerge from the paper beautifully!

I've already stocked up on popcorn--you have my full attention on this one!!


07-04-2007, 07:23 PM
Outstanding Mik! You are really paying attention to the best of details in this piece. Keep it going and I'd personally consider concentrating on getting the gater done first and then not worrying too much about the background. You'd hate to have too much detail in the grass competing with the detail of the animal. Mik - I'm serious - this is just phenomenal - gotta go back and take another closer look.


07-04-2007, 07:29 PM
It's looking fantastic! I do agree with Barb about the background though...don't bother too much now and when you do it, keep it simple and very soft. No hard edges there...that's something I learned in the Terry Ludwig workshop...keep the hard edges and contrast around the focal point. The gator is the main thing and he's coming along beautifully!


Tom Christopher
07-04-2007, 08:13 PM
beautiful work Mikki--this is going to be a show stopper --thanks to posting --tom

07-05-2007, 07:05 AM
Ooooh Mikki - I eyed off this great photo, but passed over it due to the leaves, and my "foliage fobia" LOL Maybe one day... I just love your photos lisilk - excellent refs!

You've made a wonderful start, Mikki - I'm definitely pulling up a chair and waiting for the next instalment.

07-05-2007, 07:09 AM
Ooooh Mikki - I eyed off this great photo, but passed over it due to the leaves, and my "foliage fobia" LOL Maybe one day... I just love your photos lisilk - excellent refs!

You've made a wonderful start, Mikki - I'm definitely pulling up a chair and waiting for the next instalment.

Those colours on the topside... - think I'd approach them as mostly blue and lilac on the right, going to greener tones on the nose... maybe <g>

Pat Isaac
07-05-2007, 07:33 AM
Truly spectacular....


07-05-2007, 09:24 AM
oh....this is going to be spectacular! I love your color choises. Please keep going and posting as many wip's as you can. :D

07-05-2007, 11:29 AM
The time/effort that you put into this subject will be well worth it, as you're doing such a fantastic job. I can't wait to see your next bit of progress. Partly what I love about this is that it's such a different subject and a real challenge.

Great work so far Mikki, I love him!


Mikki Petersen
07-05-2007, 11:17 PM
Well it's beginning to come together and the less detailed areas are going a bit faster. Maybe this won't take a year after all!:rolleyes: Here's today's progress:


Let me know if any problems are appearing, please.


07-06-2007, 12:18 AM
Oh my. All those details. For a detail painter myself this blows me away. This is going to be stunning. I'll be watching.


07-06-2007, 01:43 AM
I'm already mentally predicting the way this will go. It's looking magnificent. Please drop a thread in at 'animals and wildlife' when you've finished (or before). They'd love to see this over there.

07-06-2007, 01:45 AM
Hi Mikki, it's going wonderfully. Really enjoying seeing this coming together.

07-06-2007, 02:46 AM
Are you sure you didn't paste real leaves on? Looking fantastic!!


Mikki Petersen
07-06-2007, 02:14 PM
Thank , thank you! Patrick, thanks for the invite and I will x-post over there when I'm a bit further along.

Hmmm...paste the leaves on, now there's an idea! But then I'd have to post in the Mixed Media forum, lol.


07-06-2007, 02:36 PM
This is already looking so exciting! The detail the colors, all of it. Glad to see you mention the need for aerial perspective even in this close up.

Mary Brigid
07-07-2007, 09:01 AM
Mikki the detail in this work is super. I will be watching for more posts.
Mary Brigid

07-07-2007, 01:32 PM
I can only repete myself. This is going to be stunning.

07-07-2007, 02:16 PM

I love this! Beautiful piece. I can't wait to for the next update.


07-07-2007, 02:38 PM
Hi there,

Am I going to be impressed ?
I think I am....

Kind regards,


07-07-2007, 02:43 PM
Looking GOOOOOD! :thumbsup: :thumbsup:

02-06-2008, 05:45 AM
Did this amazing piece ever get finished?

Todd Flaming
02-06-2008, 09:53 AM
Incredible work!! looking forward to the finished piece!

02-06-2008, 09:59 AM
oooooooooooooooo, yeah. how is this coming along?

02-06-2008, 11:23 AM
Oh now Mik... here's the cheering committee. I know you are busy with other projects but isn't it time to pull this out and put a little pastel to paper - even if just an inch at a time....? Barb

02-06-2008, 03:54 PM
i had this reference photo too !! ... love the colours and patterns in it and the creepyness of it and you're certainly having it all come together in your painting !! ... can't wait to see it finished ... edit re ref being from RIL ...

02-07-2008, 01:05 AM
Mikki, are you ever going to finish off this Alligator. He looks magnificent so far and I'd love to see the finished product. :thumbsup:

Get Dusty again

Lots of Love Carolynn :):):heart::heart::heart:

Merethe T
02-07-2008, 02:01 PM
Oh yes, add me to the cheering comittee! I'd love to see this finished, looks amazing! (don't know how I missed this in the first place...?!!)

Go Mikki.....http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/07-Feb-2008/22081-33616-23460-smiley_3_cheerleaders.gif


02-07-2008, 02:12 PM
Add me to the cheering committee too!!!!

I was just wondering about this painting the other day myself. I was so excited watching the progress. I love this painting - hope you're still working on it. Glad to see Patrick revived this thread.


02-07-2008, 02:31 PM
Hi Mikki, This is looking amazing.. I missed it first time around.. hope to get to see it finished!