Tuesday, May 18, 2010

"Epona Harnessed" WIP 1

I removed the antlers she had in the sketches because they didn't look good for the composition (they would be too mmuch prominent given the pose and add too much weight at the bottom of the picture), and also because they didn't make much sense in this context. Epona is the deity of horses anyway... I'll paint proper deer another time.

Epona is lying on muddy ground between two puddles which will show reflected clouds and trees. This time I'm using more natural/desaturated colors and the underpainting is low saturation too, a mix of ochre, burnt Sienna, neutral gray and phtalo green. There are three main areas:

1) The challenge with the ground is giving it the wet/muddy feeling and keeping the saturation very low. I've started with a mix of Van Dyck brown and Payne's gray, and later layers will be the same plus white and possibly bits of other hues.
2) Epona is going to be mostly cool gray and green/yellow - she doesn't have fur but a coat of moss and grass, with the mane and tail made of long leaves like these of some swamp plants. I've started with a layer of red (burnt Sienna) as underpainting for the greenest areas and Payne's gray for the shadows.
3) The reflected sky will be the lightest area, the color will be similar to the mud's but overall cooler and much lighter. Plus some accents of orange on the clouds to balance the green of Epona. The main challenge here is painting a convincing surface texture for the water, but I also want to paint an interesting contrast between the mud and the sky, to make the scene look firmly on the ground and yet suspended in the sky at the same time.

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