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Saturday, 29 April 2017

Paint An Expressive Giraffe In Oils

One can not travel through Africa without being inspired by its animals. The giraffe has always held a great fascination for me, as for many others. In today's blog, I paint a fairly normal giraffe, but I make use of more expressive brush strokes so that the painting does not become simply another tranquil nature scene. Instead, I force the viewer to take note of the subject. I also create slight tension between the giraffe and its surroundings by allowing it to run off the canvas.


The reference I used for the painting, is this photo. I used only part of the younger giraffe, that is lying down.


I worked on a sheet of paper torn from a Rolfes Gouche Pad.


This paper is very strong and handles paint well, although it has a very distinct repetitive pattern.


I draw a very rough outline of the parts of the giraffe that I choose to use, in charcoal.


I brush the loose charcoal particles away with a clean, dry paint brush.


I have a couple of colours that are very close to each other in appearance and deciding which to use, can be tricky. I ended up having to paint test samples before being able to settle on a colour.


I decided it would be wise to do an underpainting first, using Derwent Inktense blocks.


The underpainting gave me a clear idea of where I needed to go with the oils.


I started on the distinct markings of the giraffe. I used a palette knife and worked with very rough strokes of the knife.


The main was painted with a short-bristled hog hair brush.


The skin was filled in with a palette knife, using Yellow Ochre.


I also brought in Buff Titanium for the lighter areas.


I largely stuck to the palette knife and did not tidy up any of the strokes.


Payne's Grey made up the darkest areas on the giraffe.


This is the palette I've worked with.


I now added splashes of Ochre to the background.


This was followed by different shades of green.


Finally I added some Permanent Violet to create the shadow areas in the background. Some touches of blue was also allowed to make surprising appearances on the canvas.


My final palette.


The completed painting.


Marietjie Uys (Miekie) is a published author. You can buy the books here:
You can purchase Designs By Miekie 1 here.
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Jy kan Tuinstories hier koop.
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