I've had quite a lot of time on my hands since coming to stay with my dad in Germany, so I thought I'd invest a good chunk of it into having a go at painting my little poodle, Ziggy. As I mentioned in my last post, watercolours are a medium that I struggle with, and animal portraits are a subject I struggle with, so once again I attempted to tackle two weaknesses in one piece by painting Ziggy using watercolour alone.
I've previously struggled to draw animals because of the denseness of their fur – representing something so 3D in 2D is difficult! – but I think this painting has helped my understanding of representing such vast texture in 2D. Previously I've worried about every individual hair present on an animal, desperately attempting to portray the texture by mimicking each and every hair, but throughout this painting I learnt that you have to concentrate more on building layers of colour to achieve the desired texture. So, this time instead of focussing too much on small segments, I relaxed and loosely layered colours, creating patterns randomly that all built up to give an overall illusion of texture and fur, and I think it worked so much better than anything I've attempted previously.
I kept taking small breaks to allow the watercolour to dry (it's all too easy to ruin a piece with impatience – something I've learnt the hard way!) and made sure to snap process photos, simply because I think it's interesting to see my step by step process and evaluate how I worked and what was successful or unsuccessful. I also find it interesting to see how others work, so I thought documenting my step by step process could potentially be useful to others as well as myself – I hope you like!
If you'd like to see any of my work in real time, feel free to head over to my Instagram for a nosey!