Here we go with part two of the great unfolding.
As you can see from yesterday's post, I did the underpainting in primarily dark and cool tones. The painting is a desert 'scene' (loosely interpreted) and will therefore be painted in light/warm tones. It gives the colours *wow* when the overpainting is placed on top of a complementary-coloured underpainting with those cool tones being allowed to show through in areas.
I started by cutting an acetate stencil for the cacti, then stencilling them in along with bird skulls made with an earlier stencil. Then, using white conte, I sketched in the other motifs and figures I wanted to use, with the exception of the joshua tree as I was having second thoughts about where I wanted it. In this photo you can see that I've gone ahead and painted in the gecko, moon and stars already.
At this point I decided to move the moon to make room for the joshua tree, as I wanted to make it a larger, more powerful presence. Then I painted in the images that were sketched in conte earlier. You can see the conte marks left behind before I washed them off.
This is the final stage of the 'images' part of the painting: adding the patterned areas. In this case it's my favourite Hundertwasser spirals around the gecko, and bird footprints in the lower right quadrant. I debated with myself about putting the joshua tree there, but my paintings can be pretty busy sometimes so it's a good idea to create a place for the eye to rest, so I left that blank, except for the birdie feet.
The next part, painting in the background, is the easiest part to actually paint but the hardest part of the painting to work through/reconcile. It's an exercise in tone and colour relationships and can be extremely tricky to get right, as I will show you later.