My 6th painting was a special request by my granddaughter. She loves wildlife and wanted me to paint a fox. Her actual favorite was a kit fox, but instead I painted a red fox kit. I had a good photo to use for that one, taken by photographer friend Terry Stanfill, whereas I did not for the other.
This is the story of my journey into the world of being a watercolor painter. My angle on this is a bit different than most other artists, in that all of my paints are made from pigments I’ve gathered myself. I call these paints ‘Paleo Paints’. By working with the rocks, bones, and pigments of my surroundings, I feel as if I am working with the soul of the Ozarks.
Previous Entries for this Series of Posts:
The 6th Painting, a red fox kit
After the pelican (the 5th painting), I thought I wanted to try something easier. So when Keigan asked me to paint a fox next, I thought that was a great idea. Oh, what a lesson I had to learn about what makes a subject easy to paint. I looked at the little fox photo and thought because it was mostly just a ball of fluff and only a few colors, it might be easy.
But I was wrong. It wasn’t easy, but this little red fox was an excellent opportunity to learn how to give the impression of fur, how to give the impression of curves and a 3-d look to a face looking straight forward through the use of shading and color. These were the same lessons I had struggled with on the pelican’s bill (beak?) and pouch. And so it seemed, these were things I’d always encounter, even with what looked at first to be a relatively simple subject.
I framed this one in old barn wood and attached samples of all the rocks, and a piece of the charred I used for the black paint. At first my plan was to paint four ‘quick’ red fox kits for all of the grandkids. But after seeing how long it took to make just this one, I kept the original and framed it to sell, and made prints instead for the kid. It did sell last year, to an old friend who wanted to give it as a gift to someone, and now it resides on a wall in London somewhere.
Madison Woods is a self-taught artist who moved to the Ozarks from south Louisiana in 2005. In 2018 she began experimenting with watercolor painting, using her local pigments. She calls them Paleo Paints, and her artwork now features exclusively the lightfast pigments foraged from Madison county, Arkansas. Her inspiration is nature – the beauty, and the inherent cycle of life and death, destruction and regeneration.
Her online portfolio is at www.MadisonWoods.art.
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