The roadrunner is one of my favorite southwest animals in Tucson. I consider them good luck when they cross my path. In this painting, I captured one running. Here’s a behind the scenes look at my design decisions during the painting process:
STEP 1: I used a bright orange hue for the background which works well with the previous 17 paintings in this series. Using a lighter color, I sketched the roadrunner’s body. Because I am using acrylics, I am not worried about it being perfect. I feel confident that I can paint over any part I do not like. You will see in the photos below, how I layer paint to edit the image as I go.
STEP 2: Then I quickly layer a light cream and darker brown shade to start defining the top feathers, lower body and beak of the roadrunner. I like to make sure I fill the shapes in, and then layer paint on top as I progress.
STEP 3: Then I mixed a red/brown and a gray to start defining the feathers and legs of the roadrunner. At this point I am still using a medium sized brush and working pretty quickly.
STEP 4: Time to focus! I use one of my smallest brushes to detail the light and dark feathers of the roadrunner. This step took longer than the previous steps. Not only am I adding more detail, but I am trying to use complementary hues to create greater dimension for the roadrunners legs and beak.
STEP 5: At this point, I used a broader brush to make a more interesting background. For some reason, I having been adding this kind of cross hatch pattern on most of the paintings for this southwest animal series.
STEP 6: As I finish up this painting, I use the absolute smallest brush to paint the eyes and other tiny details. I also work on really giving the feathers, more of a feathery look with my strokes. The feet and the roadrunner’s sharp curled up toenails also needed more definition.
Done! Looking back at this painting, I think I should have drawn him a bit smaller so I could have fit in more of his tail within the canvas. As a graphic designer, I tend to crop images to highlight the interesting details. Would you have liked to seen more of his tail?
These photos were taken with my Iphone while I was painting. I’ve created a slideshow below that shows them animates them from start to finish.
Is this helpful to see? Would you ever like to see a sped up video of one of my paintings?
Now that I’ve captured a roadrunner to hang on my wall, I will always have good luck! If you want some roadrunner’s luck too, you can purchase a print on my Julie Originals website.