What style of painting do you prefer??? Loose, abstract, fantasy, realistic, hyper-realism maybe?
I don’t know if I can decide as yet, because it depends on the day and my mood. Let me explain – loose watercolour is fun, you let the paint run and do its own thing (watercolour does have a mind of its own!). You can still get a pretty realistic look but you are not “trying” to replicate everything or even the exact colours from the reference image. It’s kind of “free”. It also takes a lot less time to complete, the trick there is not to overdo it.
However a realistic painting takes me 3 or 4 times longer to finish. I do however find it therapeutic to have short sessions working on various details of the painting over many days and sometimes weeks. So like I said, depends on what I feel like at the time 🙂
This painting of a BULL is my first painting in A3 size and though initial idea was to paint in a loose style, I ended up noticing so much detail in the head and the fur of the animal that I just kept going adding the little things I noticed and ended up with this!:
My initial challenge was deciding what to do with the background – I didn’t want it to stand out at all but still give a sense of the animal in its paddock on a farm. So I constantly battled with myself to add detail, remove detail, restrain myself from adding more in.
I’ve put a lot of work painting something from a family farm (and the farm means a lot to my husband) so I wanted it to turn out REALLY good, talk about pressure!
But the bull itself, I did focus a lot on. I did a couple of layers of brown and grey all over the body to give me a base of where the shadows and highlights are, where the colour variations are and overall sense of the shape of different parts of the body.
In hind sight I probably would leave the tag in the ear out of the picture but it’s there now and it shows he is not wild and homeless haha.
As frustrating as it was observing and painting in all the detail, it was fun and relaxing at the same time and the more I added, the more and more realistic he looked.
Curious how this all came together?? Here is a time lapse of the full process start to finish. Enjoy!