This green sea turtle was such to see while snorkeling. There were only four of us in the area and we didn't see him until he swam right up past us to grab a breath. Not bothered by our presence, he took 5 or 6 leisurely breaths, and then gracefully descended to continue feeding on coral.
As I watched, I was transfixed by his reflections on the water's surface. Wouldn't that be fun to paint someday! Stay tuned.
There are different directions I could go with the coral. Bright and colorful, muted, a combination, or leave it off all together. I liked the idea of having something there, but really wanted to minimize its impact. A painting with intricate and colorful coral would be beautiful but not for this piece.
Using a limited palette creates a more peaceful scene and the reflections will aid in the story.
With all the colors and reflections, I find this type of underwater scene fascinating to paint. I get to mix some vibrant teals. For the bluer water below, there are three mixed blues. Once they are on the board, my very soft blending brush is used to soften all the edges. This can take numerous passes in different directions.
Thanks for following along. This was quite the challenge for me and I believe I learned a lot.
You may notice a color shift and a difference in contrast from my in-progress posts and this one. The previous photos were quick shots with my phone while the above is a scan of the painting before varnishing. The colors will be richer after varnishing but I generally scan first to avoid glare from the varnish.
My niece Olivia is the model in this painting. We actually saw this painting together in Barcelona. While I love the look of her red hair, right now I am wishing it was jet black with no highlights! This is the most difficult human hair I have ever painted.
The soft oranges and the golden highlights which weave in an out are only the start. There are low lights with richer tones and coming up is a flip at the bottom. This beautiful (and completely natural) hair is something I want to get right.