A Whale of a Painting
Thank you for your interest in the whale painting....let me know if you have any questions!
A Whale of a Painting:
- Any canvas/wood/paper etc, larger than 8x10 (I’ve used 10”x 20” and 12”x 36”).
- Prussian Blue (dark blue)
-Ultramarine (royal blue)
- Liquid gloss medium (water works too)
- 1” flat brush
- round brush
- Liner brush
A Whale of a Painting Instructions:
1. Using the 1” flat brush, start off of the canvas, in the upper left corner with a white and teal mix, making long diagonal strokes towards the bottom right corner.
2. Keep painting diagonal strokes....As you fill the canvas going outward (to the right) add a touch of teal, ultramarine, and Prussian blue, blending as you go.
3. The bottom left and right corners have black added as well...keep in mind that you’re painting deeper water, therefore it’s further away from the surface light so it’s going to be much darker.
4. Starting about halfway down the left side of the canvas, swirl a mixture of Prussian blue and black, upwards diagonally to the right to about a 3/4ths of the way to the right.
5. Since you’re painting under water, the dips (waves or valleys) coming down into the water will be darker as they are reflecting the whale.
6. The peaks, or mountains going up and away from the whale (the space between the waves) have the light coming thru the surface so they will be lighter. **Mine isn’t the best representative of this. It took 2.5 hours and a gazillion distractions between pets wanting in and out and my hubby eating dinner (you’ll see it in the video), so that area could be MUCH better.
7. Once your background is completely dry and to your satisfaction, you can trace or freehand the whale. The tracer is meant to fit 8.5x11” printer paper. So you’ll need to adjust it according to your canvas size.
8. Once it’s traced, using your round brush, start with a mixture of white a touch of ultramarine and teal and a bit of gloss medium to fill in all the white areas of the underbelly. Keeping in mind, you’re painting a curved surface on the whale, therefore your strokes should curve accordingly. (The gloss medium extends the drying time if the paint, thereby making it easier to get a smooth blend).
9. As the curves of the whale become more exposed to the light, you’ll add more white to your mixture. You won’t use pure white until you add the reflections at the end. This whale is underwater, therefore the white areas are reflecting the water around it. While we know that in real life the whale is pure white in those areas, the blue/teal/white makes it look more realistic underwater.
10. As you paint the white eye patch, you’ll add much less blue and more white and teal, because this is on the upper side of the whale much closer to the surface and the light source.
11. As you come up around the sides of the whale, start adding a tiny bit of white to the black and gloss medium. This makes the black look black under water, but lighter because it’s closer to the light source. You don’t want your paint to be gray. If it is, add more black... NOTE........if you don’t have gloss medium, this is where you would make a wash....take a tiny drop of white and get it pretty liquidy.
12. Using a dry brush, “wash over” the black with the liquified white paint, this will give the same effect of the whales black sections getting lighter (but not gray), as it curves upward towards the light source at the surface.
13. If you feel like it’s not looking right take a break for a while and come back later or the next day. Take a pic of it and look at it on your phone.... this will REALLY help you too see how you like it, what needs changing, etc if anything.
14. Once everything is completely dry, you can now do any touch ups before finishing the reflected light on the whale and the light rays coming down into the water.
15. Using a liner brush, use a mix of white and gloss medium or a “wash” (liquified white) and make thin little lines from the top edges of the whale going halfway down around the sides. AGAIN, keep in mind you’re painting AROUND a curved surface so your lines won’t be straight, arch them, branch them off into finer lines, etc. You can add thicker white here and there, to appear like the lines “crossed” in the waves. You’ll extend the lines on the body, down onto the fin, remembering that while they’re continuing down from the body, they’re still starting on the edge of the fin and sloping on a flatter, rounded surface.
16. While you paint these lines, take pix and look at them on your phone. It truly gives you a fresh perspective and you’ll be able to see if you’re getting too thin or heavy with the lines, where you need to brighten or lighten them etc.
17. You should really see the whale merge under the water now.
18. Paint a black rock at the bottom third to the right, and add white and teal highlights on the edge of it....feel free to get creative with it.
19. Using your dry 1”flat brush again, take a mix of white with gloss medium, (or water), and barely touch the canvas with your brush turned vertical (but diagonal) like the water, where you want highlights on the sun rays. Just barely touch, drag, and lift off quickly here and there. Paint them on both sides of the whale but closer to the surface. Also add a couple coming out from the brightest spots of the rippled surface on the left of the whale.
20. Sign your masterpiece and show it off.
21. POST IT ONLINE IN THE COMMENTS with #whalepainting I’d love to see it!!!