View Full Version : Red-tailed Hawk - WIP
09-23-2009, 03:02 PM
I decided to try doing another WIP. It is only my second so I will do my best. I hope you ask questions.........thats what makes it fun!
Anyway, I have just started blocking in values. The sky is complete. I have kept it simple to create contrast and a peaceful mood.
OK...if it's fun that you want :D
Are all of your works in Acrylic Ian? I love your work.
What colours are on your Pallet?
Is this on canvas or board?
Love that sky, I think it will accomplish exactly what you want it to :thumbsup:
OH...and is the sky airbrushed or did you accomplish that with a brush?
09-23-2009, 04:25 PM
Awesome!! That is what I like, lots of questions. :)
1. Most of my work is in acrylic. I do the odd oil piece and very rarely I will do a graphite.
2. My pallete consists of several colours which I will use for the entire piece. They are all premixed and kept in cotainers for consistency and reduction of waste.
The colours I used so far are
cobalt blue, ultra blue, and gesso for the top part of the sky. cad yellow, magenta, cad orange, dioxanine purple and gesso for the bottom of the sky
Black for vaues. I make my black using ultra blue, burnt umber, and paynes grey.
3. This is on board (masonite). I prime both sides and the edges. I use four to eight coats of gesso on the painting side. I sand it with a fine sanding block for smoothness.
The sky is airbrushed. You can achieve this with a wet on wet approach but it is faster this way.
OK, I'm back from the Gym...tired, but not to tired for a couple more questions :)
Guesso, is what you prime your board with Ian...It is my understanding this is what it is used for, But I also hear of artist using it for their pallet as you have just mentioned...is this because It's more economical than white? Or is there another reason...or do I just have this whole Guesso thing wrong?
Also, did you just do a rough sketch for this piece and then a light tonal painting using your, Custom Made "IANART WIZ BANG BLACK"? That is what it appears you have done. I'm sure I have seen you do more detailed sketches in the past.
Also...would you mind showing a pic of your brush selection when you have a chance? Just curious.
OK, I'm going to make some coffee, you're wearing me out...:lol:
09-23-2009, 07:37 PM
Yes gesso is normally used as a primer for your board. I use it instead of white because it is cheaper and it dries a little slower. I find titanium white is very chalky and dries right away.
I did a rough drawing for this......not as detailed as normal. I find with landscapes it is easier not to draw in every twig.
09-23-2009, 09:26 PM
I don't think you could turn out a bad painting if you tried, Ian, glad to see you're jumping on the WIP bandwagon! I love to see how some of the really good artists on this forum work.
Here's a question, what I'm working on myself now - what kind of references are you using - are you compositing several, are you going from a single ref, or are parts of this from imagination?
09-23-2009, 10:00 PM
I always work from two or more refs. I find it is almost impossible to get everything you need in one photo.......and if you do just leave it as a photo. It is less time :)
This piece is from two pictures.
09-24-2009, 02:45 AM
Loving this one already! And yes your right that we can learn so much more if we ask questions so here goes:
1. Whats the difference between a maze and a labarinth?
2. How many species and sub-species of giraffe are there? ............ only joking :lol:
Questions regarding your work: what size is this piece, why do you prime the sides and back of the board and do you dilute your gesso primer when priming the board? :wave:
09-24-2009, 10:29 AM
Those are great questions. Im not sure about the types of giraffe.....but Ill ask David Bowie about the labarinth.
The size of the painting is 12 x 23.
I dilute the gesso to keep the brush lines to a minimum. It goes on smoother and dries much faster. I prime all sides of the board to trap in any oils which may try to escape later. I find also by priming the back of the board it helps to prevent warping when the gesso dries.
09-24-2009, 10:31 AM
Here is the next update. I have just finished blocking in the base colours.
Sorry the color is a little off. The lighting is a little warm.
09-24-2009, 11:17 AM
Looking forward to this, I always wanted to see one of your works as a wip since the finished pictures always look so eh, finished.
Nice widescreen format.
OK, you wanted questions, here they come:
-What brand acrylics do you use ? Have you tried Open acrylics?
-Have you tried sealing the board with a medium like GAC100 prior to gessoing?
-Have you tried working on a toned surface?
-How do you transfer your drawing to the board?
-Do you mix all your greens from these colors?
-What brushes do your primarily use?
-How do we know it's a red-tailed hawk when we can't see its tail :)
-Do you prefer a smooth surface to paint on instead of a textured surface?
-Have you tried working on illustration board?
09-24-2009, 12:08 PM
Wow!! lots of questions.
I only use Liquitex. Not because I have anything against the other brands. I am just familiar with the strengths and weaknesses of the brand.
I have not tried open acrylics yet.
I have not used GAC100 to seal the board. I am thinking of getting some though. I have spoken to alot of artists that use hardboard and they only use gesso........Bateman included. Sometimes it is better to be safe than sorry though.
I almost always use a white panel to start with. I find the colours are brighter that way. I used grey for the longest time but found the colours looked really dull when finished.
I always transfer my drawing to the board. There is not much I hate more than eraser marks all over your clean gesso panel. I normally use graphite paper.
The colours mentioned above are just some of the colours I use. I mix my greens starting with a hookers green base but always add several colours to it to make it less "fake". Lately though I have been making my own base from ochre and ultra
I only use three brushes. A 10, 5, 2 round brush. They are all watercolour brushes. I paint very thin so they work well and last longer. I use w.n. cotman series.
good point about the tail.........guess I don't have an answer for that one. :)
I always use a smooth surface to paint on. I have a hard time with detail otherwise.
I have not tried illustration board. I find it to be too delicate and it warps really bad.
09-24-2009, 12:13 PM
Here is another update. I have blocked in the colour a little more. I filled in most of the white and pushed the colour more using the airbrush.
09-24-2009, 01:00 PM
Beautiful start on this painting so far, will keep tuned for the end result.
Teeny weeny question:
You mentioned about using gesso instead of t. white. Am I right in thinking that you have made both t. white and mixing white redundant and use gesso in their place from start to the finish of your painting? Say for instance with a painting of a snow scene you would use gesso (albeit tinted/or mixed with colour and not just pure white) to the very end. And also for certain effects, like fog, mist, etc.
It would be useful to know whether the t. white and mixing white were not necessary for me to buy in future if gesso does their job. I was thinking of buying a mixing white as I don't like the chalky result that T. white gives.
I will be watching this develop, I'm sure it will be great like the rest of your works :)
09-24-2009, 02:43 PM
I find that gesso works fine from start to finish. Since I never use pure white there is always paint added. Also gesso does work very well for atmosphere when thinned and tinted. If you thin the gesso alot and apply a wash it will look very milky. I remove the majority of the wash with a paper towel, this also removes any brush strokes. A fair amount will stay even though you have removed the majority of the paint. Let the wash dry very well and then repeat the wash until you get the result you are looking for.
09-24-2009, 02:45 PM
Here is another update. I have added the hawk (its in its early stages). I have also started to paint with a brush. This will harden edges and make it look less gel like.
09-24-2009, 02:46 PM
I also added some deep shadows to the snow.
09-24-2009, 03:40 PM
Colors are really starting to develop. I like the light on the trees.
This sure is developing fast.
Tiny composition question: Are you going to add something in the foreground to lead you into the painting? The fence/bushes/treebranches right now are all perpendicular to the edge of the painting.
09-24-2009, 03:56 PM
Yes there will be some light that will help you enter at the left on the snow.
I hope this is effective.
Coming along beautifully Ian :thumbsup:
What are the colours you are using to get the shadowing in your snow?
What type of surface do you use for a pallet?
How do you store your paints?
I by NO means have worked extensively with acrylics. I have one finished piece under my belt and two small studies I am currently playing with. I am using a shallow plastic container with a small amount of water in it and the lid as my pallet surface. When I'm done I simply put the lid (pallet) on the container and the small amounts of paints on it will last for days...if not weeks. My question is, do you think the constant exposure to moisture will compromise the integrity of the paints? It sure saves a lot of paint and clean up is...well there really is none :D
09-24-2009, 06:27 PM
The snow base was made up of the same colours I used for the blue in the sky. I darkened the snow base for the shadow areas by adding my "IanArt" black. This greyed the colour too much so I brightened it slightly by adding a mixture of ultra and a small amount of paynes to the base.
For a pallete I normally use the top of a tuperware container. A clear one works well. If it is coloured it will change the appearence of the paint colour when mixing.
I store my paints in empty film cannisters. I premix all my colours and add a small amount of water using an eyedroper. These paints will keep for years and you have almost no waste at all. The paint is usually about as thick as cream.
I think the moisture will not be a problem as long as the seal is air tight. If it has exposure it will dry up or maybe mold.
09-24-2009, 09:38 PM
Looks good so far. I'm excited to see how it goes.
My question - is gesso archival? (Will it last without changing?)
09-24-2009, 10:08 PM
Good question. According to wikipedia here is the answer.
- Modern acrylic "gesso" is actually a combination of calcium carbonate with an acrylic polymer medium latex, a pigment and other chemicals that ensure flexibility, and ensure long archival life.
09-24-2009, 10:50 PM
If you are an oil painter this may be something to watch though.
again from wikipedia
-Acrylic gesso is a modern art material, and is used as a primer for oil painting and acrylics. Many of the solvents used in oil painting, such as turpentine or odorless mineral spirits (OMS), will leach some oil through a thin acrylic primer coat and damage the canvas underneath just as traditional hide glue sizing did. However, sufficient coverage and penetration of an absorbent support is archivally acceptable.
Although it is generally believed that it is acceptable to paint in oils over acrylic gesso, it has been stated in several painting textbooks such as "The Painter's Handbook" that it is unwise to paint in oils over acrylic gesso because—unlike time-tested alternatives such as rabbit skin glue—the oil paint will eventually delaminate from the acrylic gesso surface. This effect may not make itself manifest for several decades and then mostly affecting thick impasto. The cause for this problem is the inability of oil paint to establish both physical and chemical bonds with the acrylic base. Applied to a canvas that has been primed with rabbit-skin glue, oil paint is able to penetrate the ground (which is porous, unlike acrylic gesso) and establish a permanent bond, both chemical and physical. Manufacturers of commercially sold, pre-gessoed canvases deny that delamination takes place. However, curators in the Smithsonian Museum are not permitted to use acrylic gesso under oil paint, precisely because of the delamination problem.
09-25-2009, 01:35 AM
This will be a really nice painting. It's so interesting to read what questions are being asked of you and your answers too! Can't wait to see it complete. So how many birds are you up to after this one?
09-25-2009, 02:39 AM
Thanks for the support. I am not sure how many I have done. All I know is that I have A LOT left. :)
Way too many I think.
09-25-2009, 02:58 AM
Really enjoying watching this one & feel like I'm learning alot too. One question - what is the time factor on this piece so far? Do you normally make a note of how long you work on something?
09-25-2009, 10:20 AM
Well I kind of keep track of the time........but not the exact time. I have been working on it for three days. Maybe around eight hours so far. That would include the planning stage. The drawing was not detailed so it went very quickly.
09-25-2009, 10:21 AM
Here is another update. Not alot different than the last one. I have just blocked in more colour and started refining some edges.
09-25-2009, 12:02 PM
Hi,Ian,looks like there's going to be a lot of detail to do in this one,looking good so far.
What's that squarish patch of snow,bottom right?
Best from mike.
09-25-2009, 12:49 PM
Thanks Mike. The snow in the bottom right is just the lay of the land. It is a patch of the field farther back than the closest trees. It will be less obvious when I put the twigs and grasses in the fore ground.
09-25-2009, 12:50 PM
Here is another update. Around two and half hours more work. I spent that time working almost exclusively on the large tree.
It had seemed to me that the bird in this piece was quite large in proportion to the surroundings Ian...so I did a bit of searching. Turns out the Red Tail is a much bigger bird than I had thought. I guess when I think Hawk, I think smaller bird...it's not. Coming along nicely :thumbsup: Hope I didn't break the rules by answering my own question. :)
I'll post this pic simply because others may have the same thought:
09-27-2009, 10:43 AM
Thanks Mitch. The red tailed is one of Canada's larger birds of prey. Here is another update. I am just continuing to refine detail and adding some interest.
09-28-2009, 08:36 AM
looks great Ian and looking forward to seeing the next post.
09-28-2009, 08:39 AM
Coming along really nice Ian.
09-28-2009, 09:10 AM
That sky is perfect!!!
09-28-2009, 09:47 AM
I am loving it! I am watching you work!
09-28-2009, 11:01 AM
Thanks for continuing to watch.
09-28-2009, 11:04 AM
Here is the next update. Again just adding detail. I have started on the fence now and added some more twigs and sticks to the back ground. I also refined a little more in the shadows of the trees.
The updates are not going to be very dramatic from here on in......but this is when the painting comes alive.
09-28-2009, 12:41 PM
Taking shape nicely Ian,will look in again on this one.
That squarish patch of snow is still throwing me a bit!
Best from mike.
09-28-2009, 07:58 PM
I see what you mean about them coming to life now. There isn't too much difference between this and the last update but with this one, I can tell it's going to be a success.
09-28-2009, 11:45 PM
Nice bird and landscape
The lighting is really taking shape Ian, looking very good.
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