Curiosity Kits

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Pastel painting of four fox kits
16X16 Pastel, unframed, $218. Who can resist this level of cuteness?

I have friends and collectors who are always on the lookout for scenes they’d like to see me paint. A friend of mine sent me the photo for this one.

My friend’s neighbor had a fox den in the yard, resulting in this adorable image of four curious kits.

I had a lot of fun creating this painting. For one thing, I don’t usually do square paintings–that’s a choice I make because I like to stick with standard painting sizes.

At first I thought I’d attempt to change two things from the photo: I would make it a rectangle, and I would try to reposition the kits so that the third from the left would have a whole face.

The idea of a rectangle was discarded immediately, as you can see: I decided not to try to figure out how to fill the extra space and still keep the focus on the kits.

But I wasn’t really excited about the adjustment to give the third kit a whole face, either. In the end, I liked the feeling of movement and playfulness that the original arrangement communicated.

This is a 16X16 piece of UArt 400, a sanded pastel paper I enjoy working on. I sketched the scene in with charcoal, then began applying inktense blocks to create the underpainting.

Underpaintings help support and add excitement to the piece. I spent some moments with a color wheel to choose a palette before I began adding color.

Experimentation is the lifeblood of an artist. I spent quite a bit of time and pastel finding what combination of colors and mark-making would result in the effect I envisioned. That first kit face took the longest.

Almost there! Final touches and adjustments are all that’s left.

I loved the look of the original finish of this little fellow’s face. In the end I had to modify his eyes and head to correct the perspective, but I kept this photo: I may create a card or something using it.

Did you enjoy seeing the process of this painting in blog form? Would you enjoy a time-lapse of one of my paintings? Let me know in the comments

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