This painting was done during my oil painting class/workshop at Jerry’s Artarama in Tempe, near Phoenix. Here is the finished painting, “The Clever Hen,” 18×24″
I always start my pieces with a value study, drawn in charcoal. This is a very expressive and versatile medium, and can be pushed around in the much the same way as wet paint. If you’ve never used this medium before, I recommend it very highly. It will sharpen your perception of values, and get you thinking about your drawings in terms of shapes, and less in terms of objects. If this makes no sense, then take my class and I will be happy to explain it better.
I then begin my underpainting with washes of just a few colors. I want to keep the focus of this stage on values and drawing, and some edges.
Here is with all the darks blocked in.
Here is with the lights added. Since this stage is still in washes of solvent, there is no opaque white paint used yet. You’re getting your lights by removing paint back to the white of the canvas. So in a sense, you’re painting with light, not with paint.
Here is the background painted in. In many of my paintings, I use the back-to-front approach, painting the farthest things first, and gradually moving closer to you. My paint palette here is: white, cad yellow light, yellow ochre, cad red medium, ultramarine blue, and black.
Here is with the rest of the grass filled in.
And here is the finished piece. When rendering the chicken, I paid close attention to warm and cool color relationships, based on which direction each plane is facing.
Contact me to own this original painting, or to register for my oil painting classes and workshops.