Last Saturday I took a class from Sheri Hoeger on painting pet portraits. She’s such a good painter and a lovely person. She paints in acrylic and prefers Golden fluid acrylics that she applies with Golden’s airbrush medium.
Using a medium with acrylics was new to me. I have always just used water. But this medium gave a very nice even flow and extended the open time. I’ve worked with acrylics for many years, learning how to deal with their fast drying time, so extending the open time wasn’t a particular advantage for me, but I did like the way the paint applied to the canvas. (By the way, the weirdness in the photo must be the texture of the canvas?)
Before the class, she had each of her students email her a photo of the pet they wanted to paint. She then used photoshop to make a grayscale copy with a limited number of values – I think mine had 6. From that grayscale copy, we traced the image, then transferred it to the canvas with graphite paper.
The thing that was really new to me was using a very limited color palette. For this painting – which obviously isn’t finished yet – I used Violet Oxide, Anthraquinone Blue, Raw Umber, and Cobalt Green. Ordinarily I would use many more colors. But I plan to finish this painting with only these four (well, maybe a tiny bit of yellow). I greatly admire the color Sheri gets in her paintings, so it’s certainly worth giving her method a try.
The class was a delight.