When I look over my portfolio, sometimes I try to see whatâ€™s missing. It’s difficult to look for ways to add some variety, while at the same time challenging myself artistically. For a while Iâ€™ve noticed that I never really paint any types of animals. So when I was given the opportunity to paint something I havenâ€™t tackled previously, in this case a great white shark, I went for it.
I have a tendency in my paintings to feature one individual prominently, so it was refreshing this time that the â€œmain characterâ€ in the painting would be a shark. Water is also something that I enjoy painting, playing with the shifts in color and its reflective qualities.
Over the last few months Iâ€™ve been approaching the process of painting differently as well. In the past I would simply jump in with the characters until they were fully rendered and then proceed to paint the surrounding background.
I would find many times that color relationships would be drastically different, some colors would be too intense while others may be too saturated. The result would feel muddled and haphazard. What Iâ€™ve been doing recently is beginning with the most distant objects in the background, in this case the sky and sea, and gradually working my may to the foreground. Itâ€™s never a perfect process, but I think the initial layers of paint form a more cohesive image.
Since college Iâ€™ve been using Golden Acrylic paints, and while Iâ€™ve used all sorts of other brands and find most of them to work just fine, I simply prefer Goldenâ€™s line of acrylics. Recently they released a line of Historical Acrylic Hues, which are supposedly recreations of colors available long ago. I first tried these out a few months ago but struggled with the paint flow and low viscosity. At first I didnâ€™t think Iâ€™d be able to use them, however I really enjoyed the range of colors I could achieve with them, particularly with skin tones. I decided to stick it out and now, with the exception of Titanium White, Jaws is painted entirely with these historic hues.
Often I butt heads with a painting, so it was nice to work on something that went as smoothly as this. The final painting is acrylic on canvas, 18×24 inches.