I first start with a sketch. For this painting, I am going to do an underpainting first before I lay in color.
This is what I use for my underpainting. I like Gamblin paint because it is creamier than others however you will see me use other paints because I am an art supply hoarder and cannot pass up a clearance sale.
After 1.5 hours, I have nice idea of where the shading and composition will be and it gives me an opportunity to change something before color goes on.
Another 2 hours into it I like to start laying down color in the background first. This gives me a sense of what I would like to do with the subject. I have also added more lights and darks to the giraffe (but not color)
I have watched a tutorial on realistic fur from Jason Morgan. So I am going to try his technique. I put a thin glaze over the giraffe and let that dry until the next day and I keep working the background, My glaze is made with Liquin and a small amount of my paint. That must dry before I do anything else to her.
Today I only put another layer of glaze on the giraffe and let it dry til tomorrow.
Well I hope this works because right now she is ugly and I am nervous. I lay in small strokes of fur in white. I used titanium white but next time I will use zinc white because it is the most transparent of the white family. I have almost completed the background, I will probably not do anything else to it until I get most of the giraffe done. I may need to blur it a bit more because I want the contrast of a crisp clear giraffe in front of a blurry background.
This is all I have for now......more to come later....