This first photo shows what my paintings start out like. After doing a series of sketches to achieve the idea and layout that I want to do, I do a simplified tracing on vellum paper over the final chosen sketch. I then redraw the tracing on the back of the paper in a soft pencil led so that when I lay the vellum over my board and rub, the drawing then appears on the board. I will keep this vellum drawing taped onto my painting until each part of the painting has been started. Then it is removed. I have blocked in the dark green around the subjects that I wish to remain light and vibrant which are the chipmunk and flowers. I have made sure that the dark green overlaps the edges of my subjects a bit.
In this next step, I have used gesso to reclaim my edges. The large grasses in the background have been started and the leaves are starting to appear.
Next, I continue to add the lighting values on the flowers and grasses. I have also started sketching in the taupes and browns on the dead tree stump. My paintings tend to look a bit like paint by numbers at this point, as there are not many subtleties yet.
Here I’ve started on the chipmunk. I’m drawing in the hair coat direction here in dark values and laying in cool and warm tones.
Here is a closer look at the under painting of the fur.
This next step shows a process that I think is very important. I was not liking where the tail was coming out of the rump on the chipmunk so I completely painted it out and redrew it in gesso. It is NEVER too late to change the structure of an animal on a painting.
This is the completed painting entitled Out For a Peek. The main subject in this painting is the chipmunk. I used the wide grasses and lower flower stem on the right to move your eyes in a circle around the painting, always landing back on that cute chipmunk face.