A few weeks ago I read the Donna Zagota article in the Watercolor magazine, and decided I wanted to try a painting based mostly on shapes. Following her work, I wanted to also start from an intimate subject matter. The handiest scene to photograph was Mike and Shredder, our furball cat. The light on this particular Sunday morning was inspiring.
After trying a few thumbnail sketches, I settled on a composition with an exaggerated figure and strong diagonals. I transferred the sketch onto a small piece of 300 pound Arches, a paper I rarely use. The sketch sat on my work table for a month until I had time in the studio this weekend. I used a limited palette, 4 colors to be exact. The under-painting was done with yellow ocher and manganese blue, a combination that creates some great greens. I did all my mixing on the paper, not on a palette.
I used cobalt blue and burnt sienna to create darks and began to add details to the figure. The cat was poorly positioned (too close to the center) , so I tried to make the cat part off the figure shape and downplay its importance. In this photo, the L-shaped composition is clear. I've left only hints of the exterior landscape.
The painting taking shape
From here on out, I added detail, used gauche to regain some white, softened edges, created some positive/negative interest in the bottom of the painting.
One Sunday Morning, 10 x 14 inches
Now that I'm looking at the painting on the computer, I see that I need to soften the edges of the white swoosh under the hands. Now it is competing for interest.
I do have some questions:
- Is there too much empty space out the window?
- Do the hands need more detail?
- Should there be more transition of value in the floor?
- Is the plant between the figure and cat too busy?
Love your feedback!