Thursday, 23 June 2016

Hebridean ram

Oil painting of a Hebridean ram
The attraction of this subject was mainly the horns and the challenge of modelling their form without losing the texture. I also noticed that wool colour seemed to vary from very black to golden brown, depending - perhaps - on age and how badly they needed shearing: here are a couple of photos to compare
hebridean sheep

This variation give me the idea to play around with my new tube of Transparent Oxide Orange (Rembrandt) and to see what it could do. My conclusion was that it  produces the most delicious, luminous orange whilst also behaving beautifully even alongside challenging colours like blue or black.  I had no problems with accidentally mixing a bilious green in this painting.
Here is a progress shot

work-in-progress with palette

I covered the panel with a thin layer of Transparent Oxide Orange then - when it was dry - I blocked in the darkest darks. The darks were mixed with Ultramarine Blue and Burnt Sienna. For the lightest lights I used the orange together with yellow ochre and white and a tiny bit of lemon yellow for the brightest highlights.

The horns were modelled using trial and error and a great number of cotton buds (Q-tips). I removed as much paint as I put on until I got the impression of their hard, knobbly texture. This was where I was grateful for having toned the board before I started.

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