Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Orca Mother and Calf ACEO

Orca whales are a favorite subject of mine to paint. I love the high contrast of the lights against the darks and their sleek appearance as they glide effortlessly through the sea makes them a joy to capture on art cards.

Here is a recent painting of a mother and calf as it progressed. First a sketch in pencil is drawn of the orcas swimming at the surface.
After transferring this image to watercolor paper, ink and a wash are added. Background washes are the first area I apply paint. After saturating the background areas of the paper with water, colors in a wet on wet technique are added. This gives a nice flowing and blending effect. Also, for my orcas, I always under paint with blues or mauves depending on the surrounding lighting. This painting has ultramarine blue added first to the whales, then several layers of Payne's gray. Highlights are left white or in some cases, added towards the completion using Chinese white.

The finished painting includes the details and the calf's dorsal fin was set back slightly from the original sketch.

"Keeping up with Momma" 2.5" x 3.5" watercolor and ink by Colleen K Carrigan SOLD

View this painting in my online gallery - Coral2Cove Gallery

Website: coral2cove

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  1. Very nice! Fun to see the way that you created it.

  2. A few hours after I posted this blog on my orca painting - there was a call from a neighbor that orcas were sighted in an inlet just outside the bay we live near. Very Cool!

  3. Thank you Kathleen for your kind comments on my art. It is fun to show the 'process'. I'm learning more by sharing this way.

  4. I love your use of colors to portray the movement of water - it really highlights the strength of the orcas and how the little one stays near mom. I love your orca paintings, Colleen.

  5. Thank you Jan, I really enjoy painting orcas. Showing a mother and calf is one of my favorite themes to use. Your blog is amazing and so powerful! 'Mama Ocean' - I just love that reference - it's so true!