Thursday, May 12, 2016

The Phoenix Rises

I have entered a contest where I have to paint a Phoenix. I have never done a 
Phoenix before and it isn't usually my genre of subject but I really like
 the idea of painting fire so I thought I would give it a try.

 I will be posting a daily step by step process of the work and on the fly changes as they happen.
 I am working on an 18"x23" sheet of smooth watercolor paper and using acrylic paints.
The first step is very wet paper and thinned airbrush acrylic black
(Createx Wicked Colors) applied with a 2" synthetic brush.
While it was still very wet I used an old watercolor technique of throwing kosher salt into the wet paint and then letting it dry. I figured that would get me some cool fire-like texture under my later painting. Here is what I got.:

Now while it is drying I get to squint my eyes and imaging the Phoenix in my under painting. 
I liked this orientation so I start to rough in the shape of my Phoenix.

I plan on using Liquitex acrylic paint when I get into the color steps. So far I like the under painting and think the birds wings are much too big and the head is not centered with the body. I will start to correct these problems when the second step has dried. I don't do a lot of drawing when using acrylic or oil paints I just correct things as I go. For me a lot of the fun is staring at the painting while it is drying and figuring out what is working and what isn't. 

The rough idea I am working from is this picture. I like the head turned to the side right now so that is the direction I am starting out in. I will continue to work in black and white until I am happy with the composition and then I will start the color. I may use the airbrush some on this painting as well. Any ideas or critiques are always welcome.

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