I decided with this Chameleon picture to use a grisaille underpainting technique. This basically means I paint the shadows on first in whatever my chosen shadow colour is. Since my chameleon is going to be green with yellow and cyan I thought a dark greenish/blue /grey would be good. I also underpainted the branch she is sitting on but since this will be painted in warmer browns and used a dark brown underpaint colour for this bit.
It was really fun to use the gouache paint like this. When I use it thin enough it behaves exactly like a watercolour which gives lots of nice effects. Sadly I’ll lose most of those when I paint the main colour on top but it’s nice to see them and experience them as I can use the same technique again another time on another painting.
My set up for painting has pretty much settled down now into a standard workspace. It looks like this:
Note the emergency Oreos – essential kit for painting. I wonder if the Mona Lisa would have had a proper smile on her face if Leonardo Da Vinci had had a pack? Maybe that’s why her smile is supposed to be a bit odd – maybe he only had boring biscuits.
I’ve left the picture taped down to my drawing board becuase I’m going to carry on and do the overpainting when I next get a chance (I’m still not physically very well). So here’s a photo of it on the board:
And here’s a close up: