Garden of the Lion, 18 x 18, oil on canvas, L. Daniel © 2020
Revisiting this handsome lion with bigger brushes and larger canvas was so much fun. I love this guardian of the flowers. This one is fresh off the easel and available now at the Anderson Fine Art Gallery in St. Simons Island, Georgia!
Here are process shots to show how it came together...
BLOCK IN - SKETCH
I began with an underdrawing (ultramarine and burnt siena). This allows me to check placement and scale of all the elements, and its a good place to make adjustments to the basic design before I get too far along.
BLOCK IN - VALUES
I established a "roadmap" for my values by indicating the shadow areas of the scene. Putting my darks in early and accurately gives me a structure to build on. I also stained the canvas with spots of alizarin crimson as place holders for my geraniums that would be painted last.
STARTING WITH THE DARKS
Working dark to light allowed me to hold on to values. It is also the best way to build a painting... so much easier to add lighter colors on top of a strong base.
ADDING THE LIGHTS
The key to keeping clean color is to use a light touch with subsequent layers. With alla prima painting, it can be tricky and "scrubbing" turns everything to mud. Beware.
Final Marks and Highlights
Once all value areas were established, I was able to suggest detail with final marks and highlights using slight value shifts. So important to save these until the very end, when everything else is working. I also painted the geraniums last to keep their marks clean and fresh.
(I'm honored to be teaching in the Pre-Event Beginner's workshop! Please look for me there!)