Wednesday 30 October 2013

Captain Ratbeard

This is a bit of a jump from my previous post 'Cheetah chase' (more on that later). Below you can see a detailed rough of the next animal painting to go with my recent series of work.

I've decided to call him Captain Ratbeard, his long beard is braided but unlike Blackbeard it's not smouldering - I didn't think his hairs would stay lit in such a terrible sea storm. I introduced a tilt to the composition to add a bit of tension (see Dan Dos Santos post on tilting), I especially like the fact his body is counterbalancing the roll of ship as any good pirate with sea legs (or leg) would do.

The rat in the background, ropes and swinging lantern also provide a contrasting diagonal to the lines of the mast and wooden deck deck. I am yet to decide which direction the rain will be falling, with the wave or opposing.

The strongest contrasting in value will be focussed on Ratbeard's face. He'll provide a strong silhouette with his dark fur and hat against the foamy wave beating against the stern in the background.

Above is the transferred and outlined pencil drawing on watercolour paper ready to be painted. Below you can see it is on the same piece of stretched paper as 'Cheetah Chase' which is why I have not scanned that finished painting and posted it on the blog. Instead I have taped a plastic sheet over it as protection and been very careful to cover any gaps that might let in stray watercolour as I paint Captain Ratbeard.

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