The Sky Clouded Over a Bit

Today was session number 2 for Patches and I couldn’t wait to begin the clouds in the sky. It’s quite a challenge for me, but I’m happy with my progress so far. There is still much remaining: adding the sunbeams, perhaps deepening the contrast in the blue part of the sky between the top and bottom, adding color to the sunbeams, and perhaps adding more clouds. I’m looking for a spiritual feeling and keep thinking of the beautiful skies that fellow Placerville Arts Association member Bruce Gruenzel paints. He paints boats in stormy seas – scenes of deep and obvious peril – with a small bit of brilliant light falling from the dark sky – to me a clear metaphor for redemption.

How to proceed with Patches herself was unclear. One possibility would have been to refine the blocked in colors. But I was pretty happy with them so I opted for adding fur detail, beginning with the ear. I worked left to right on Patches so that I would be able to stabilize my brush hand on the dry part of the painting. I kept the lights purposefully too light to leave room for glazes of color later. After three hours I hadn’t worked all of Patches, but I did enough to be able to view it as a complete layer so quit for the day.

Tomorrow I’ll work more on both the sky and Patches but I will need to completely finish the sky first.

After I took today’s photo, I noticed that the left ear was a little too narrow and some of the curves along the edge were wrong so I quickly sketched in a correction with some Van Dyke Brown so that I’ll be off to a good start tomorrow.

Meanwhile, after painting yesterday the polymer clay was calling and I made this tiny fairy, the “Eat Your Vegetables Fairy.” For a while now I’ve wanted to make a diminutive animal using half a walnut shell for the base. By the time I finished, the walnut shell didn’t play much of a role, but I find that they make good bases – just the perfect size. I think smooth flat river stones about 1 ½” or 2” in diameter would be good too. I’ll have to keep my eyes open for some.

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