Well, I'm back to the parrot painting. Remember that, a while back? Sharpies on canvas are a whole lot more fun, I think. Anyway, here we are again. Now the painting at the top is the last step. Do you think I actually wanted the fussy fru fra to be the main picture at the top of my blog? No indeed.
Anyway, so last night I made a very half hearted attempt to paint some leaves in the background of the painting. Remember it's a good idea to do the background first. That way you don't have to be careful around the main subject matter. Leaves take a special knack and, as you can see, from step one below that it is boring beyond words. And why is it boring? Because there's no movement. It's static. Well, as my teacher, Robert Rumel, told me, "Sometimes you have to ruin a painting to fix it"-I proceeded to do just that.
To begin this process I pulled some natural sponges out of the drawer and began step two (ruination without a care in the world-good plan of attack). When using a sponge it's real hard to get tight in your painting and I wanted things to loosen up. As you can see I went to town on this and what do you see now? Step three-movement! Voila! Now, I know this isn't the greatest but it's a better base than what I had before. Now I can build on it. Paintings are like sculptures in that you have to build up and build up. That's what the Masters did.
Now I have something better to work with. Oh, I put a green wash on the birds last night-being careful to allow warm and cool. While I work every area I'm constantly keeping in mind how I can make each element become a "star". I want subtle contrasts that will pop things out and create life and interest.
Side Note: I want you to notice the effect of the under painting on the birds. Now I'm going to layer, layer, layer and leave a small glow of the orange underneath. It will make the painting breath life by not appearing flat.