Spirit animals and Zodiac dreams

I had promised this painting to my father- and stepmother-in-law (yes, that’s a thing) about two years ago. It started off as a different composition entirely, but the concept for the painting was their Zodiac signs depicted as animals.

The original design just didn’t sit well with me, so it got put on the back-burner.

Until further notice (I hate those words… though they have applied to my Twitter for the last three years).

All I knew was that this painting was going to be purple. And earlier this year, I got the opportunity to give this one a restart.

I’m so glad I started it again because I LOVE this concept and composition so much. Originally – as you can see below – the colours just didn’t seem to want to “stick”, but I trusted my gut on this one and just continued in my colour-wheel discomfort.

These images show my very basic process of building a painting up from the bottom until I’m happy with the top layers. This is my new standard technique and I love how it doesn’t force me to paint “inside the lines” from the outset, but lets me use the original line art as a guideline only, and to really draw with the paint.

001
Composition and basic blocking
002
Underlayers and early shading
003
Mid-way… SO MUCH LION HAIR…
Heritage Craft Acrylic Paint
Beautiful balance (at least *I* think so). Acrylic on A1 canvas.

So, if it’s not obvious, the star signs are Leo and Capricorn. The goat is holding a garnet in its mouth (just to balance the interest in the painting – since the lion holds a lot of gravity in the composition) – garnet being one of the Capricorn birthstones.

To say that this piece was well received is an understatement – and even though my in-laws had to wait a while, it was almost like the art found me after two years. Sometimes putting things off until the timing is perfect, is the best strategy πŸ™‚

005 - detail

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