When I got back to work this afternoon after yesterday’s session I was surprised at how dull the painting seemed. I distinctly remember putting what I thought was quite a bit of value contrast in the fur yesterday using my Rembrandt pastels. But it seemed like the velour paper had just inhaled them! Shelley has commented on this unfortunate phenomenon with her paintings but I hadn’t really noticed it until how.
So I began by once again strengthening the darks and lights.
When I was observing this painting last night I realized that I needed more color in it – specifically, little Sparkle is quite orange! I used three frighteningly bright oranges today, but in small amounts they’re good – not shocking.
The tail needed more work as well. I used pastels on their side to give a light wash over the outer colored bands on the tail. Each of the long tail hairs is banded with black at the tip and gold in the middle, giving the tail this beautiful appearance. The hairs are slightly wavy and so they catch the light giving a sparkly effect. I have tried to capture this and hope I have succeeded.
I would like the pattern in the clouds to show a bit more and to do that I’ll have to add more darks.
As I look at the painting now, I see that the upper part of the back of the neck (behind the ear) needs to be darker. I would also like to darken the upper right portion of the sky but I don’t think I’ll be able to without endangering the tail.
So it looks like I have one more short session on Sparkle. She’s been fun to paint. I sure hope she’s still alive and well.