As the VAA International Art Exhibition opens, I thought it would be nice to write about the inspiration and story behind one of my pieces of artwork. This painting is included in the exhibition and is for sale.
Wildlife Artwork and Chester Zoo
Visiting the amazing Chester Zoo, I can spend many hours studying the animals, making sketches and working on ideas for wildlife paintings. I get to study the movements, gesture and character of all the fascinating creatures.
Developing the Artworks Composition
For my painting, If You Build It..., I started by created many thumbnail pencil sketches to work on composition and values based on lots of photo reference and studies in my sketchbook. Once I had arrived with a composition I liked, I sketched it out in charcoal on canvas and created a loose value underpainting in a warm earth colour.
Village Weavers are amazing bright yellow and black birds that build giant, hanging ball-shaped nests to attract a mate. They also steal from each others nest to make sure they have the biggest and the best. To capture their character, I wanted a strong coloured ground to peek through the final painting. I chose magenta.
Building Up the Painting
The rest of the painting was built up with loose, expressive brushstrokes to evoke the movement of flight in layers. The quick drying acrylic paints meant I could work at speed and complete the painting before fatigue set in.
I wanted to keep the background as fairly abstract painting, evoking the depth of field of our vision and camera film. I also used it as a way of drawing the eye to the main attraction.
Keeping in Touch
I hope you enjoyed this insight into the creation of an acrylic painting. Please check out the VAA Exhibition and all the amazing artists work for sale at the link above. If you would like to commission me or purchase a painting then do contact me. For all the latest news (and special offers to subscribers) then please sign up for my newsletter below.