|We are starting this painting in class.|
First I masked out the seagull. Then I was able to do a wash over the whole picture. I started wet on wet and used cerulean blue with a little quinacridone rose in it. Be careful not to add too much rose! While still wet I dropped in some color for the sand underneath. I used a mix of cadmium red and raw sienna.....for some darker areas I mixed in some cerulean blue to tone it down a bit. Then I added some quinacridone rose in places in the upper left of the seagull and a bit to the right bottom. If your painting is not dark enough, proceed to do the wash over again until you get the value you want. Be careful not to make it too dark or else the bird will get lost. You have to make the value of the bird darker than the water and if the water is too dark, the bird would have to be way too dark to show.
Now we can add some of the ripples in the water after everything has dried. I used the same colors of cadmium red and raw sienna and did add a little bit of cerulean blue to it. I made it really watery and applied the paint very loosely. By holding the brush handle further down the handle and not as close to the ferrule, you can obtain a looser stroke. Also be careful of the angle of the ripples. If they slant to much upward then it starts to look like rain!
I made the color a little less watery for the reflection of the seagull ....it's a darker shade there. I also added a bluer ripple of cerulean blue and burnt sienna. Don't make it too dark, though.
I put in the bluish shadow of the seagull using Thalo blue. The darker blue lines in the shadow I mixed thalo blue with some maroon perylene. When it was dry, I lifted the highlights out with a slightly wet brush and blotting.
Now it's time to work on the seagull. You can remove the masking and put the details of the bird on the paper by transferring the details with tracing paper.
There is reflective light from the water and sand showing on the underside of the bird. I painted the breast of the bird wet on dry using ultramarine blue mixed with quinacridone rose and raw sienna. Drop in yellow ochre and quinacridone rose in place where you see reflected light such as under the beak area and just above the legs. I went over this a few times to get the right value. After it was dry, I wiped out a few highlights with my brush above the left leg. After it all dried, I scrubbed with a soft brush the hard edge formed between the shadow and the white part of the bird. If you feel you would like to add some Thalo blue to parts you can. I did but very lightly in areas on top of the head.
Now to finish the rest of the seagull. Once you add the nice gray and black details of the back feathers, it will start to look like a seagull! I achieved the gray by mixing thalo blue and cadmium red in equal amounts. You might have to adjust one color or another to get the gray you think is correct. I would make sure it is not on the red and more on the blue side. There is a touch of violet shade on certain feathers though and you can adjust for that. The dark black is achieved by just mixing a stronger mix of the color. There are darker shadows under some of the feathers ....take note! This is the fun part! Any feathers you missed going around that are white, you can put in with some gouache. The beak is very hard to explain how to paint. I used raw sienna in the darker areas and used a dark to get the blacker areas using burnt sienna and ultramarine blue. Be careful to keep the highlighted areas of the beak white. You will have to zoom to get the details. The eye is also hard to explain. Zoom in and you will notice the eye is yellow ochre with some dark running through it.
The legs I did with raw sienna, ultramarine blue and quinacridone red mixed to get a dark, but also used raw sienna separate where it was highlighted. There is a light side.....zoom and you will see it.
Final details I added some white gouache to pull up some white feathers on the back and head area.