|Deco Rooster by April M Rimpo|
10" X 8"
Original Available at Columbia Art Center Gallery Store
6100 Foreland Garth, Columbia, Maryland
Giclee Prints also available
9.75" X 7.5" print on watercolor paper
fits 14" X 11" standard size mat
I never start a painting without a plan, until now. No intended color scheme, just a drawing of the rooster? Well it happened. Let me know what you think of the result.
I had sketched the Bantam rooster on an 11"X11" piece of watercolor paper in preparation of demos during Art Walk, but didn't get to it that day. So I sat down in my studio knowing rooster and size of the painting. Since this type of rooster is black and white, I wanted a bold background. I thought, well his comb and wattle are red, as is the eye ring and ear lobe, so I want red in some areas of the background. I selected one of the textures I like and was about to put down some red when I thought I should used some yellow first. Red always pops a bit more with yellow behind. Yellow and red were added to the paper in geometric shapes. I extended the yellow behind where the roosters comb and wattle would be located and ended up with an L-shape of yellow. It seemed right to start with the wattle, comb, and eye so I did those before I finished developing the background. They helped to establish the focal point and give me something to compare when deciding on the darkness of colors used elsewhere.
Next I thought I should add some black and gray to the background to help make the bright colors pop. I selected areas where I thought the black would accentuate lighter areas of the rooster and applied those first. Gray was used to surround some of the black, establishing middle value to dark areas that would not distract you from looking at the rooster. The patterns of color in the background started to look like deco so I ended up adding more to accentuate that appearance.
Next I added some light washes on the rooster's body, to give some shape. Once dry, I added just enough dark edges to the feathers to identify the rooster as a Bantam without fussing about every feather. I wanted him to pop out of the page. I felt that too many detailed feathers would just add confusion over where to look - the feathers or the rooster's head.
You may have noticed I started with an 11"X11" sheet of paper thinking this would be a 10"X10" painting when done. Even that changed! In the end I decided to mount the painting on an 8X10" deep cradled panel, which looks great. I enjoyed responding to one section of the painting to decide what to do next, but doing this on one of my larger paintings would have probably left me struggling with indecision.
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