After being under the weather the past couple of days, I woke today with lots of energy and a long to-do list. I needed to be a busy bee to get it all done. Near the top of the list was starting a new painting!
I decided to use photos I took last month of a bee on a white bee balm flower. Combining three images, I found a pleasing composition. My toned canvas was ready. After sketching the canvas I needed an acrylic underpainting. The flower petals and three bees were just all very confusing. By doing a very basic, fast-drying underpainting with only black, white, and yellow paint, I would be able to lay in the background and then start with a good guide for the details in oils. Another benefit is that mistakes in the drawing become obvious when they are black and white shapes, and are easy to correct at this stage. (You might notice 2 bees have no wings. That’s because they’re a blur. They’ll be added near the end.)
Tomorrow I’ll carefully mask the edges of the bees and the petals with masking tape. Then I can paint the background right over the tape! After it dries for a day or two, I’ll carefully peel back the tape and be ready to go.
It doesn’t look great right now, but that’s okay. This is the foundation, and it will look a lot better as the work sessions go by.