Happy New Year from Bella!

Happy New Year!

I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season.  We had our daughter home from school which was a gift in itself and had some wonderful visits with family and friends.  As usual, time certainly flew by and now it’s 2017!

A few weeks before the holidays, I created this painting “Bella.”

painting of dog Bella by artist Janell Mithani

Bella is my sister’s dog and the painting was her Christmas present.  I visited my sister last February and got to know Bella.  We went for a few walks and she kept me company while my sister was at work.

When I began the painting, I had a few concerns about painting a “white” dog.  But I was in luck, as my painting process worked great for this type of painting.

I work from dark to light, starting with a dark under-painting and then getting lighter as the painting progresses.  I also work back to front, laying in the background and then moving forward getting lighter and more detailed, thinking of my painting in “parallel planes” or chunks of parallel space that stack up as I move forward towards what is closest to me.

For this painting, I started with a deep gray background to compliment the grayish undertones in her fur.  I then blocked in a slightly smaller shape of the dog with grayish white.  Then I added hair and details, with each layer getting lighter and lighter, and I refined the shape of the dog with each layer.  For her features, I did the same process dark to light, adding details to the nose and eyes. The final steps were adding highlights to the eyes and her whiskers. It was hard to not paint the whiskers in earlier as I really wanted to paint them! 🙂

I do enjoy painting animals, the hair and fur are especially fun to paint.  But of course, my favorite part was painting the eyes! (I know, those of you who are familiar with my art are not surprised.)

A few more animals are sure to make it to my easel this year.  Along with more “Wildish Spirits” and a new series of feminine vintage memories that I began working on over the holidays.

I look forward to hearing what all of you have planned for the new year and wish you a wonderful, creative, year, Janell

 

DOE painting in process

I am still working on my painting, “DOE.” but I thought I would share a few pictures of my progress.

Here is the final sketch from my sketchbook. It is 8″ x 10″.

Doe Sketch

Here is my sketch enlarged on a copy machine and pieced together.  I wanted to paint this one pretty big, so I bought a 24″ x 30″ gallery wrapped canvas.

Doeenlarged

Here is the canvas with the last coat of tinted gesso.   I was thinking I wanted to go with a lighter background, but you will see that I changed my mind…

. CanvasStep1

And here is the painting with the main subjects blocked in.

Doe blocked in

Now I started feeling the Fall weather and began getting some darker shades worked into the painting.  I always rotate my canvas around on my easel when I am painting certain parts.  I especially like to paint the tips of my hair sideways.  Anybody else do this when they paint or draw?

DoePaintHair

Here is the whole painting sideways on my easel.  I darkened up the background and added texture that gave me the feeling of bark on a tree.

Doesideways

And here it is, right side up with the my progress, so far.

painting Doe holding a fawn in process by Janell Mithani

Hope you have a wonderful, creative, day, Janell