Sunday, 1 November 2009

Indigo Jellyfish...

This is my first attempt at painting one of the deep blue jellyfish we saw at the New England Aquarium last week. This is in watercolour - I started out by making a very faint pencil sketch of the jellyfish's position. Very faint as I definitely didn't want any pencil marks showing through at the end of the painting.

I then painted a turquoise wash, followed by an ultramarine wash with some salt sprinkled over the central fronds to give the frilled effect. I had to leave this to dry overnight, and today painted a further deep turquoise wash over the whole paper. The jellyfish body was painted with indigo paint, as thick as I could get it and brushed over a pre-wetted area. I pushed and pulled the paint with a damp brush while it was still wet to get the rippled effect around the base of the body.

The central fronds were painted with a lighter wash of indigo mixed with a touch of crimson. The legs/tentacles (?) were painted with pure indigo using a rigger brush to get the thin and flowing lines.

Finally, I lifted some of the paint off the centre fronds with a wet brush and dabbing with tissue in order to add a bit of texture.

I want to paint a series of these, so hopefully will improve technique as I go - I would prefer the blue background to be smoother. I used Canson extra smooth paper which is lovely for detail but does tend to hang on to pigment and leave brushstrokes on drying when you think you have done a perfect wash!


Sallie said...

Caroline, I love the jellyfish! So beautiful.

Anonymous said...

Shows you how much I know, I thought the background was meant to give the impression of the sea and its colours.
It's gorgeous

Magpie Magic said...

I love the textured background. I agree with Bronlee - it looks far more natural like this. The fronds are fantastic.