The Raccoons are Raiding the Berry Bushes

These three photos show the progression of this little ACEO.  After transferring the drawing, I began the painting with light washes in the background and on the raccoons.

Next I got out my #00 script liner brush and made little hairs on the raccoons.  I used a variety of colors in the gray area and began with burnt umber in the areas of fur that would become black. Burnt Umber with Black gives a nice rich dark.  (In china painting, they have a color called “brown for black.”  I used the liner strokes not only to build color, but also to build texture.

After completing a layer with the lines I often washed over either the entire area or parts of it.  I used these washes both to build color and to add shadows and build form.

In this second photo, both raccoons are complete.

As I was painting them, I noticed that my technique feels a lot like drawing with a brush – almost like drawing in pen and ink but in color.

Mostly I used transparent soft body acrylics, but the wuite opaque gouach came in handy in several places, notably the highlights in the eyes and the whiskers.

After I was done with the raccoons I masked them out with frisket so that I could paint the background more easily.  After beginning the background with transparent color splotches and criss-crossing branches, I finished with gouache forthe leaves and berries.  For the final touches, I removed the mask then added the branch in front of the forward raccoon’s arm.

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