For ages I have been wanting to do a painting of a lone wolf hunting on a winters night by moonlight and this week I finally got around to it…
I also wanted to do it in watercolour, with the basis of pour on paint as the background as it adds more interest to the painting when the serendipity of the paint merges in ways that I don’t plan. So firstly I stretched the paper onto an artboard to keep the paper tight and to stop it buckling, when it got wet.
I knew there would be a large wolf on the right hand side looking out of the image to the left hand side, and a large full moon in the top left hand corner… so I drew out the moon and hinted at the main features of the woof, ears, snout and chest, and then mixed the paint I wanted to use – mostly a bright deep blue, burnt sienna for the red shades, and acquindone gold for the yellow shades. Just those three paints, I didn’t need any other colours in it. I wet the paper with clear water – all except the moon which I didn’t touch as I knew when I put the paint on it would only flow onto the wet parts of the paper and ignore the dry parts. I poured the paint on and let it flow, and then did the most difficult part of leaving it to flow, as I always want to start painting when its fresh.. the best thing at the point is to walk away and do something else for a few hours..
When the paint was dry I could then add, and remove paint from the paper by adding water and dabbing off, or painting with a medium size brush, and then keep working on it to get the shape of the wolfs head – I didn’t want it to be in sharp focus, as it was night time, and wanted the light of the wolfs head, and chest to catch the moonlight. And the most important part was also the breath of the wolf on the lower right hand side that I wet and blotted out to make it more realistic…
When I was happy with that effect I then painted the moon with a weak wash of acquindone gold and paynes grey for the grey parts. Then I used white gouache for the moonlight on the wolfs ears, head, snout, chest, teeth, and coat. The eye was painted in white and lemon gouache. Finished!
And I am very pleased with the effect – its a simple painting but effective, the lone wolf out hunting on a cold winters night, so cold you can see his breath..
So that meant only one title for the painting ‘Wolf moon’ – the first full moon of the year…. and very apt for this painting I think…..!