Sunday, February 27, 2011

Kauai Hen-Day 7

© Ellen Blonder
Considering this painting is only 8 x 10 inches, this feels like slow progress for a week. I hadn't figured out the foreground plants carefully, so today was about redrawing them as much as painting details.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Kauai Hen-Day 6

© Ellen Blonder
Painting feathers all day, newly inspired by the attention to detail in Indian miniatures. This doesn't come close.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Kauai Hen-Day 5

© Ellen Blonder
 I just added detail to the feathers today, mostly painted with my synthetic brushes. I did try out my new paintbrush, acquired on my India trip, on the finest details. The artists make their own paintbrushes from squirrels that they feed a special diet. All the hairs on the brush curve in the same direction, and a single hair is the tiniest bit longer than the others, perfect for their exquisite miniature paintings. 

The artist who sold me the brush (for about $2) told me with one dip of the brush in paint, they can work for half an hour before needing to dip their brush again. For their miniatures, pigments are ground from stones and minerals and mixed with gum arabic. I can't do that with acrylic--the paint would dry up in the hairs--but it does create an extraordinarily fine line.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Kauai Hen-Day 4

© Ellen Blonder
Today was about the plumeria flowers and making the foliage colors more opaque before I start adding details.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Kauai Hen-Day 3

© Ellen Blonder
Rather than painting groundcover flowers, I thought I'd sneak in some fallen plumerias. Just blocked in basic colors today.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Kauai Hen-Day 2

© Ellen Blonder
Starting to underpaint, have to figure out the foliage and flowers I'd like to put around the hen, but first I had to get her beady eye.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Kauai Hen-Day 1

© Ellen Blonder
Kauai roosters just beg to be painted, but hens sit back and wait for you to notice. Here's the sketch of a patient hen on an 8 x 10-inch board.