Pastel Painting: Ringtail possum

Different possums seem to dominate the areas around different campsites, and at Junction Pools in Barrington Tops National Park ringtail possums were by far the most common. We were finding six or eight of them each night, while out spotlighting.

This one presented an interesting picture for painting.

As you can see, the original photo definitely needed cropping!

So I cut off the edges to create a vertical picture that encompassed the whole of the possum and a little of the background.

With this painting the difficulty was going to be in making it look as if the light was natural rather than a spotlight. I haven't actually achieved that in my painting because, I suppose, "natural light" would have been moonlight which would have washed out all the colour. But these are colourful little creatures and I didn't want to do that!

Perhaps one could imagine that the possum in the painting was illuminated by a small patch of light shining out of a window or something similar?

I drew up a grid over the photo and drew up a similar grid on a large, neutral grey sheet of pastel paper.

I made a quick sketch of the possum........

......and began blocking in the colour on its body.

Next I added dark colour to the background using random irregular strokes and began to mark in the branches.

In this step I have worked on the detail in the possum's head and feet, added a bit of furry texture to its body and used blue to delineate some shadowy areas.

Here I have built up the colour on the main branches and have "pulled" some of the background branches out of the darkness. I have also added more colour to the possum's fur, strengthening the white and warming up some parts with tan colour.

A little more attention to detail, and the paintings is finished!

Here is a closeup shot of the possum's head and hands showing the texture of the strokes in the finished painting.

I don't exactly "do" photorealism!

This painting is being donated to POUNCE (Profits Only Used for Needy Conservation Efforts) for their silent auction in May (2016).

#Pastelpainting

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