Step One: Here’s a step by step review of a painting of a black bear in progress this week. The sketch is done and after masking the leaves and bear, I applied a light wash of Cobalt Blue. It was a little stronger than I wanted it to be so I may lighten it later. Will see how it looks after the bear and leaves are painted in.
Step Two: I blocked in the shadows on the bear and put a wash of color on the leaves. I find this part a bit tricky because I want the layers of color to blend in without leaving hard lines. A bit of damp paper towel, a brush just barely wet or a damp sponge (squeeze as much excess water as possible!) can be used to soften the edges later.
So far, so good!! I did soften the sky a bit to help make the bear pop in the foreground more. Again, using a soften sponge to lift the color slightly and it gives the sky a bit of texture that I like so it isn’t just a boring flat surface. I drew the leaves overlapping the bear to help give the composition depth and because I think it’s more interesting this way.
The final layers of color and details were painted on the leaves. I thought there was too much blue in the spaces behind the leaves at the lower left area of the painting so I added darker leaf layers. This seems to make the leaves in the foreground “pop” a bit more too and gave the painting a more balanced feel. And, here’s the finished painting. That was fun! Now to come up with a good title… Any suggestions?