New firefly painting, step by step

Hi!  I’ve been pretty busy with baby #3, but now that he’s coming out of the newborn phase I’m finding time to paint a little bit.  Here’s a painting I’ve just completed:

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Fireflies, 16″ x 20″ acrylic on canvas, copyright © 2015 Kathryn Beals

Here’s a photo of me painting with my little guy from my Instagram:

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You can watch a very quick demo of the process below, or click through to read the steps in more detail.

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I started with a wash of color for the background, not spending too much time on it since I knew most of it would be covered up by the trees. I used Phthalo Blue and Phthalo Green mostly, with a bit of Green Gold:

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After it dried, I started putting in the trees with my angle shader brush, resisting the urge to make them all straight and perfect.

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With all the trees in, I added a white space for the tent, letting it dry before adding any other color:

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Then some detail to the foreground, and some leaves and branches with my round brush.  I tried to paint quickly to keep from overworking it, and also before the baby woke up!

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Up to this point I mostly went with black for the leaves and foreground detail, but I added some green and some shadows:

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Last, the color of the tent and some flowers in the grass around it:

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Then the fireflies!  Most of them are single white dots.  The larger (closer) ones are a larger circle of transparent Zinc White with a smaller dot of opaque Titanium White in the middle.

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My easel light is very bright but tends to wash out the look of the painting in the progress shots.  Here are some detail shots of the finished painting in a more natural light:

This painting is in my Etsy store as a photo print or canvas print.  The original will be added soon to my website.

2 thoughts on “New firefly painting, step by step

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