Painting Bon Vivant Part 3

After getting the idea, the sketch, the research and color study, it’s now time to paint Rusty as an Edwardian bon vivant!

Sketch on watercolor paper

  1. First, I copied the pencil sketch onto a block of 7 x 10 inch hot press watercolor paper.  Like all my other drawings, I did a rough sketch and cleaned up everything with erasers.

Painting in the blazer

2.  Diluting some cerulean blue gouache paint (Holbein brand), I then painted in Rusty’s blazer with a size 8 round brush.

Painting the ascot

3.  After letting that dry for awhile, I moved onto Rusty’s ascot.  That was painted in with Liquitex primary cyan acrylic.

Painting Rusty's fur

4.  The next item to paint was Rusty’s silver grey fur.  For this, I used some Holbein neutral gray #3 gouache.  It was tricky trying to maneuver and not get any paint outside the pencil lines.

Painting the straw boater

5.  I had to make sure Rusty’s grey fur was dry enough before painting in his straw boater as I didn’t want the paint to run or the colors to smear.  Anyway, I painted the boater with yellow ochre.

Painting the book

6.  Next came Rusty’s book there; that was painted in with raw sienna.

Filling in black paint

7.  I then slathered some Liquitex mars black acrylic onto my palette and proceeded to paint in Rusty’s eyes and part of the hat band.  Those were done with a round brush; the stripes on Rusty’s blazer were painted with a filbert brush.  When doing my research, I had to study stripes and tried to make sure the stripes followed the folds in Rusty’s blazer.  Again, photo references are very handy!

Painting in the rest

8. The final parts of the painting remained.  Remember that black acrylic?  I took a little of that, thinned it out and used it like watercolor on the bottom of the picture plane to create the surface that Rusty is leaning against.  Then I broke out the scarlet gouache and used that for the rest of Rusty’s hat band.  I used some of that diluted paint to do Rusty’s nose.  As for the background, I wanted to show Rusty in a pastoral setting (like a park) so I painted that green.  That was done with somewhat thick green gouache applied with a size 12 round brush.  As you can see here, the paint was still wet and glistening when this photo was taken.

After that, all was left to wait until the painting dried.  Some of the elements were heightened with pencil and then signed.  And here’s the finished product!

Bon Vivant #1

“Bon Vivant #1”, Gouache & acrylic with pencil on watercolor paper, 7 x 10 inches

That’s quite an achievement I’ve done and I’m proud of my work here.

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About Max West

I am a freelance artist and the creator of Sunnyville Stories, an independent slice-of-life comics series.
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