I added the background as a solid greyish blue color because I wanted the tone to contrast the darkness of the whale. After the entire thing had dried, I thought it would be a good idea to try and add a gradient, but that ended up as a waste of time as it didn’t blend easily into the old color and ended up not showing very clearly in the finished product anyway. Thankfully it did not make the piece worse, but it was definitely not a good use of my time. I knew that the background was still missing something, and it had been suggested that I add fish or trash to the background, so on an impulse I decided to cover the entire thing in plastic wrap… and I honestly really liked it. I thought it was a perfect finishing touch.
I had been putting it off long enough and finally decided it was time to paint the trash in the stomach. At first I was worried about how I would portray a bundle of bleh, but then I actually enjoyed creating tiny plastic bottles and cans which you can only see if you look really, really closely.
I worked on the bones and I decided to go with off white and brown to create a more natural look that wasn’t so stark. Indicating each little bone is time consuming but I think it’s worth it.
I worked on some more detailed areas today which were a bit more finicky. The brush I have is small but doesn’t seem small enough and some of my lines aren’t very clean. It took a lot of layering, especially for the mouth, to get the subtle textures, and I’m not sure if they came through. Overall though, I think it’s looking pretty good so far.
I have started to work on the painting and I am taking over the kitchen with my mess at the moment. I have begun by putting down a base layer of color and building a gradient. This part wasn’t too difficult and I really like the color of the whale.
I did the sketch of my painting today which didn’t take too long. It is pretty rough but I am happy with the general layout. I think I am going to want to hang this piece so that the panels are a little bit separated from each other
After a whole lot of planning and going back and forth between ideas, I have finally settled on what I am going to do for this piece. The plan is to paint a whale across three panels and on the middle one paint sort of an x-ray which will show the bones of the animal and also debri from the ocean floating inside. I don’t know how realistic this task is given the time but I will have time over the break to work on it as well.
I am a Maggie Walker art student in Richmond, Virginia. This blog section is a little window into my art process, research, and experiences. You can follow along with my journey as you scroll.