This week I painted a pair of orcas, a mother and her calf.

Here is my initial drawing design which I did on cartridge paper.  Initially I was going to make this a pen and ink drawing but I decided to paint it at the last minute….


Once I was happy with my drawing I masked out the white bits of the whales and went off to visit family for the afternoon while the masking fluid dried…

However, when I got back, and looked at the drawing carefully, I saw this…

They are scratches from my little kitty-cat, Leia.  I shouldn’t have been surprised really.  Despite being free to sit anywhere, she chooses to sit in various choice spots like…

…on my black work trousers, or…

…on the book I’m currently reading…

… in front of my PC monitor…


…and, more recently, on the clothes airer.  I think it is her life’s mission to cover everything of mine in little white kitten hairs!


Anyway, I decided to go ahead with the painting despite her best efforts.

I began by doing a couple of quick thumbnail sketches to give myself some idea of my colours.

I knew I wanted a restricted palette but wasn’t sure what colour scheme to use.  I decided on a variation of the left thumbnail.

First I put on some basic watercolour washes in Payne’s Grey and French Ultramarine.  I added some yellow for the sunshine and merged this in…


Next I used a similar blue mixture but with more Payne’s Grey and less ultramarine to put in the idea of some rocky land.  I painted the sun in Winsor Yellow with some Cadmium Yellow Deep and added a few reflections.


Finally I began to work on the more specific details and finished the painting…


I quite like the finished picture but it lacks precision.  I also think I could have managed my watercolour gradients better and more evenly.  I think I might have another go at this one sometime using proper watercolour paper and taking more time and care with the execution of each wash.

4 thoughts on “Orca

  1. I think it is fine Jo. But you know what they say about us artists, When everyone else things it is perfect, we ourselves can see imperfections and want to paint over.
    I can relate to the cat. The cat where I was living recently just wanted to be involved in everything I was doing. That meant eating the paper, pushing the pens and pencils to the floor, and walking on my keyboard when i was not looking. I have moved now, and even though I enjoy having my work not upset, I do miss the company of my feline friend.
    Merry Christmas to you, your son, and any furry ones in your household.

    Liked by 1 person

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