Fox Painting in Acrylics – Getting Started

So, today I made a full-size sketch of the actual image I’m going to use on my painting.  Although when I was planning this I had just a simple coloured background, I decided that I wanted a bit more, so I skecthed in the outside of a cathedral in the background.  I didn’t want anything detailed or fancy so I left off any gargoyles or detailed architecture and just concentrated on the basic shape.  I made my own stained glass pattern across the fox figure and created strong black lines around him with an ink brush.

ActualSizeSketchThen I set up some space to paint (including covering various surfaces with some old sheets to protect them (I can be quite messy at times).

GettingReadyOnce all of this was done I got down to painting in a rough background colour scheme and then, when it was dry, drawing in my main features.

ForegroundDrawnOn My next plan was to make some swirly clouds mixing with the last of the sunlight.  This was harder than I expected because I wasn’t using any retarder with my paint (which slows the drying process down). So, in oder to blend colours I had to work really fast since it’s a warm, dry day here today.  The other thing which was difficult about this was that I didn’t have a clear enough picture of what this would look like in my head so I had to experiment a bit too.

Once I got the sky down (as a first approximation) I blocked in some basic colour for the cathedral walls – using a light cream with a hint of cherry and a light cream with a tiny bit of violet.  Since my paints were all getting low by this stage I decided to stop for the day.  So here is where I am up to:

EndOfStage3What with getting set up and then cleaning up and putting it all away again afterwards, this whole thing took me about 4 hours.  The most difficult thing for me is that I found all of this, much more physically demanding than drawing or inking or anything else and so my pain has become really bad now.  (I have a chronic neuopathic pain condition).  It’s so frustrating because I really love painting.  All I can realy do about it is to take some extra pain relief medication and rest until it lets go.  With other work, when this pain malarky becomes an issue, I just work in shorter time periods but given the amount of set-up and clearing up I need to do, a shorter time period would accomplish very little.  Hmmmm.  I’ll have to have a think about this.

(All Images unless otherwise explicitly stated are © Jo Fox, 2015)

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