Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Painting with Plantie Tuesday! #5 - Wolf Time!

Wow, I havent posted since the last Painting with Planties! I will make sure that changes this time around :P But we are back! And today I have been working on one of the main figures in my new nature-esque painting ... a wolf.
I have never painted a wolf - and it was obviously a challenge! Luckily, I had a few reference books up my sleeve to help me on out :D!
even by the covers you can see these artists have some amazing talent.
The 2 books I got from the library are: "Painting the Drama of Wildlife - Step by Step" by Terry Isaac and "Painting Animals" by Francoise Coffrant and Christophe Drochon.
examples of the reference pages I used.
Definitely the most useful pages were the top ones, explaining how to paint wolf fur - which was from Terry Issacs book. Both are absolutely stunning and give you great step by step instructions from everything from fur, composition, feathers...everything. I found these in the Malmö library, and if I can find them here up in Sweden, I am sure you can find them where you are too :D
I took the starting from black idea from the "Painting Animals" reference book
As I posted on Facebook before the weekend, I put down the base for the wolf in pure black. You can see I mixed up a bit of rust color which I smudged over his nose right before this picture. I also mixed up a medium grey, and a darker shade of grey which is what I used in the beginning.
now thats one ugly face this guys got hahah
I always say to myself...through the process of painting, especially with the main characters, it is 90% of the time hideous, and about 10% finished quality.
So yes youll see alot of ugly. As you can see above I started off with a rusty color on his nose and started blocking out the whites where they were most prominent.
he looks obviously devious.
I use the medium grey, which looks very light on the black to block out the main areas. Which are alot considering its a grey wolf from Sweden! But youll see later on they also have alot of rusty brown as well...
the furry fury continues
Next I added the darker grey inbetween all the white spaces. So so much of the painting technique was small brush strokes over and over in various colors. It is super time consuming, and there was a few rages at my small brushes which always decided to go "Splat!!" with color at random points...but that aside :P The fur continues...
not so much of a black wolf any longer...though admittedly for another painting how awesome would a black wolf be??
So as I said before there are alot of rust colors in his fur. Nice with the black background it didnt go on to bright or strong. And I began adding slight light highlights with my yellow ochre.
This all begins a good base for lines and movement. Even though not all of the colors will remain just this way, it was important to give the impression of the varying hues on the underside.
now thats a bit more wolf like :P
After the basics felt good and ready, I started concentrating on the face. You can see what some better shading and highlighting around the eyes did! A wettish looking black eyelid, some shading in the yellow ochre iris, and something that looks a bit like tawny colored eyebrows! Also I began filling out his muzzle and his mane. Alot of rust and ochre went into this, but everything gets a wee bit mixed up in the end.
Okay so, the dark darks went in here, you can see how it frames his face so much better.
I am just beginning to add highlights onto the scruff of his neck now and filling out spotty colors on his shoulder blades.

now. the 10% is in view. a very glary wolf.
And this my dear friends, is where my wolf stands at the moment. From the picture above to here you can see I added alot of work on his arm, his belly adding in highlights and tones, his shoulder blade was pecked very lightly with 5 different shades of color, alot of rust and ochre, but also grey and black. His ear fluff got a bit of light doing, his eyes got another bright yellow highlight in them and I mashed up the colors along his scruff with the various tones from light to dark to make it appear more cohesive.

The last things I will be doing will be evening out the light on his moving arm a little bit, and adding a yellow glaze across the top of him to go along with the light source, which is quite strong behind him.
For my first wolf, I think this is looking pretty good!
I can tell its a wolf now wahaha!
Thats gotta count for something ;)

I hope you enjoyed this Painting with Planties, and lets see YOUR wolves in the future huh!


  1. Hey hon been enjoying your "inspiration" posts lately. Now this one inspired me too - I may just go to my library this weekend and pick up a "how to" book to get myself to pick up my paintbrushes once again =)

    1. ooo hey ally! i am so glad you got the comments to work :D!
      Yeah, i totally recommend a few books from the library, they can be really inspirational and helpful! Id love to see what youd create ^^
      Miss you <3

  2. He's absolutely gorgeous! I'm surprised this is your first wolf! His fur is beautiful, and his stare is very wild and wolf-like. Beautiful work!

    1. Thank you dear ^^ Painting fur is pretty tough and awkward :P but it turns out alright after a few hours right ;) hehe I am happy you like him!

  3. Ooooh, can't wait to see the completed painting!

    1. yeah neither can i :P c'mon Tim "The Cat" Gunn! Cheer me on hehe