Friday, May 31, 2013

A bumblebee process

"A Bumblebee", 6 by 6 inches, acrylic on panel.

I decided to document the process of this small painting with still pictures. Maybe some day I'll have the smarts to make a video and speed it up or something. Anyway, here's how it works.

This is a gessoed panel, with wood sides. For this series I'm using these as ground, instead of my usual stretched canvas.

Here I've taped the edges to protect them from stray paint. The surface is covered with a base texture I have brushed on using matte gel. I like the brushy undercoat it gives to the surface.

A base color, usually purple or a mix of purple, red and brown, is applied.

And here's the base color complete. I like the uneven look, even though most of it ends up being covered. There was a time when I thought the base color had to be perfectly flat, but I've gotten over that.

Using a white pastel pencil I execute a rough drawing of the subject; in this case a large bumblebe on a flower. Pastel pencils easily erase or wash off, to eliminate the underdrawing.

I'm starting to paint the bee, working from the darkest value to the lightest.

These yellow highlights will be the lightest value on this striped section of the bee.

Here's the bee form with both orange and black stripes complete.

After painting the stained-glass look of the wings I'm using a white prismacolor pencil to detail the "veins", for lack of a better, probably more accurate term, of the wings. Prismacolor, unlike pastel, pencil marks are very hard to erase. Nor do they smudge.

The flower petals are going to be white. This blue serves as their base and shadow value.

After a couple of values are added, the white petals come into form.

The center of the flower has a pale yellow hue.

And there it is, needing only my signature.

Here it is hanging on the wall.

This is one of the paintings for "Inside and Out", my September show at Norwood Flynn Gallery in Dallas.


Laura said...

Love seeing your progress Ray-Mel! And interesting watching someone else working on hardboard panels as I have been with such a different technique (as I am using watercolor) they are so much fun and I love how they look hung on a wall.

Ray-Mel Cornelius said...

Thanks, Laura. The panels do have a presence on the wall, maybe more so at a small size than larger.