boom baby

Again another couple months between blogs, per the usual. #notsorry

So I made a cool thing can I tell you about it?

I made dis:

 paintings are so hard to photograph, especially when you use reflective colors and metallics

paintings are so hard to photograph, especially when you use reflective colors and metallics

It took me forever, oh my gahhhhhd did this take so long. But I like it so it was worth it.

So my fiancé and I took a canoe down about 7 miles of the Saint Croix River in Wisconsin last September. It was one of the coolest things I've ever done. It was so secluded and peaceful and beautiful the colors were gorgeous. The highlight was seeing a family of river otters playing along the banks. Seeing otters in the wild is pretty darn rare so it was so cool to see them and so close probably only 20 feet away.

So ever since then I have had like I don't know 30 otter paintings I've wanted to do and this is the first one I have finished. I wanted to a mermaid painting as well, and love the idea of mermaid and wildlife together, hence half the artwork I make features it. 

 give or take 4ish hours for each step here

give or take 4ish hours for each step here

The background was a learning process. I have done trees and landscape before obviously but wanted to try out new methods of painting for them. Trying to balance values and color pallet and give depth and detail but not too much detail since it is a background, is a fine line to walk my friend. 

 water reflections, harder than Bob Ross leads you to believe

water reflections, harder than Bob Ross leads you to believe

I must have tried so many different ways of painting the reflection in the water. Still water reflections are waaaaay easier to pull off. Moving water has motion yet reflects the image above, which makes it hard to negotiate with a paint brush. 

 hey cuties

hey cuties

Otters are incredibly hard to take a reference photo of. They move 100% of the time. My photos from my canoe are much to blurry, luckily I went to the zoo on Black-Friday and got a couple of pics while they were waiting for food and sitting much more still than they normally do. 

Notice the water is different again for the 4th time and I changed it again before finishing. 

 scales are hard work

scales are hard work

Finally the mermaid. I love shiny and iridescence, and wanted to use a lot of that in her. She has a lot of gold in her scales and face. I knew I wanted dark hair but wanted it to have almost an iridescent sheen to it so I used a lot of metallic blue and green. I haven't a person in a long while, I want to do more so I am happy with how her body and face turned out, I am finding retarder with acrylics helps with that a lot. It gives you time to blend but not sooo much time like oils where you have to wait days to paint over. Also... Hands are hard okay, don't look at them!

So I have to crank out a few more of these if I am to have my solo show and do art festivals this summer. It is going to be a busy spring!