In the Deepest Wildwood

Remember these two? They started out as a thought experiment (“What if Dior’s sons had been saved and brought up by Ents?”), but as I never really subscribed to the idea, and as it’s June and Damh the Bard’s song “Noon of the Solstice” is playing right now, this’ll be it.

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This is the first painting deserving of the term since February. I can’t believe I survived this long.

The first sketch of this one was this:

 

Materials used: Schmincke tube watercolours (Light Ochre, Chromoxide Green Brilliant, Cadmium Yellow Light, Burnt Sienna, Sepia), Schmincke Gouache (White and Yellow), on Canson Montval paper. Size: 28×57 cm.

Note. Below, I’ll only talk about “Green” and “Ochre” etc, but these will always be the above mentioned.

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In the first step, as usual, I print out my lineart on the paper (see here). Then I wet my canvas with a sponge and prepare some of the Yellow, Ochre, and Green above in my palette, making it a light and even wash with my English wash brush.

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Also as usual, I dab some paint off the lighter parts of the figures with a tissue.

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Next, I add some more Ochre, Green, and Burnt Sienna to the figures with a size 4 sable.

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When everything is dry, I rewet my entire canvas, and prepare a very dark olive mix, made from Green, Ochre, and Sepia, splotching it around the edges with a size 12 mixed synthetic/sable brush. I splash some water into the wet paint too, to produce natural-feeling textures. The paint up there is still wet; it will lighten during drying.

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On to the figures! I use the same olive mix as above, applying it with a size 4 sable brush.

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Then I prepare a lighter green mix, of Green and Yellow, and use it in the head for some more colour variation.

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The paint dries very fast, and I can add detail with my darker olive mix immediately. For this, I use a size 0/5 synthetic brush.

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First figure finished.

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The second figure will have more colour variation throughout. For this, I prepare three mixes: Pure Sepia, Green+Yellow, and Ochre+Yellow.

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I dip my brush into these mixes in turn as I paint, and allow the colours to mix on the paper.

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I add some variation to the ground level, too, using mainly by olive mix, but also dipping in any of the others from time to time.

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The front figure will have more detail than the back one. I use my tiny forte brush and use all my colour mixes freely for variation, painting around some of the leaf detail to make it stand out lighter.

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In the end, I bring out some details again with gouache (white and yellow, mixed with a tiny bit if green watercolour).

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Next, the berries are painted in a Sienna/Sepia/Ochre mix and highlighted with my very light yellow-green gouache mix too.

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Finally, I go in with Sepia and darken some bits to the right and bottom of the figures.