Crinoids and Ants

Goniatite, chalk lines on dark backgroundHere in the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History, home of Giant Crinoid, Giant Camels and Giant Elasmosaurs, it’s almost time for Mike Kaspari to talk about ants. He’s up on stage at the podium, adjusting his tie, getting his Mac booted up and putting his thoughts in order. And I’m sitting in the audience surreptitiously adding to my blog before it’s time for him to begin. I have a few minutes. Here’s the latest:

Transferring the Drawing- BelemnitesFlorentine Glass Belemnite Transfer Stylus

The Crinoid painting is coming along nicely. I’ve sketched in the background with neutral dark gray acrylic scumble and now I’ve added the critters, also in gray. My method for this was to print out the various elements to size and draw them onto the panel using a chalk transfer paper and a stylus. Actually, it’s a glass dip pen I bought in Italy. Works nicely, though, for the purpose at hand. The point isn’t sharp enough to scratch through paper, and it looks so darn pretty. I can see Leonardo using one of these to draw belemnites, too.

laying out the design- paper dolls
I tape the cutouts on the panel, positioning and stepping back and repositioning until they look right. It’s like playing with paper dolls- paper dolls with spines and teeth and waving tentacles.

Belemnites in gray
Next step is roughing in the grisaille, just basically getting the shadows and a little pattern dark enough to where I can still see them once the blue water is overglazed on top of the grisaille. I will also recharge the grisaille a little post-overglaze, as the contrasts tend to get lost a little with the addition of white to the blue. Sorry, I meant to say I will go over and throw some more gray paint on the areas that got covered with blue paint so I can see them better.
Belemnites with color glaze Belemnites with color overglazed- ultramarine, phthalo turquoise, raw sienna and a little titanium white.

Stethacanthus roughed inStethacanthus and Goniatite, roughed in. The gray mix is burnt umber and ultramarine blue. The background is Titanium Buff Gesso.

Stethacanthus and Goniatite, color overglaze
Getting there- it really adds depth to put the color over everything.


One thought on “Crinoids and Ants

  1. carel says:

    I was very happy to discover your blog this morning (after, appropriately enough, staying up late, drawing a motmot) via your “I and the Bird” link. You draw beautifully! I look forward to keeping up with you.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s