The above was another attempt to experiment with a figure on masa. I am discovering that this surface is adaptable to any subject matter. I painted a Westhighland Cow here, a cat here, and a tiger here.
I had several challenges with this particular piece due to the colors of the stained background starting out. I was using oranges, burnt sienna, prussian blue, aureolin and sepia to render her form. She was appearing more and more colorless as my painting progressed. I then remembered something Don Andrews taught in a workshop I took. He said the midtone colors were the brightest and what brought “color” to a watercolor painting. The only midtones I had used were neutrals that tend to appear flat and lifeless. As soon as I began to use fire engine red in the coat of this orangutan, the color popped forward.
The photo reference for this came from the wet canvas library and the background was made up of some insignificant zoo shapes. I decided to complement the oranges and reds with a green and blue background and repeated the stringy shapes of the orangutan’s hair in the grasses behind her.
Information about the orangutan can be found here.