|Copyright Jen Betton 2015|
I drew up a bunch of sketches, both to figure out ideas and compositions, but also to get used to mousey anatomy. I decided to develop this one into a full-color piece.
For the color studies I knew I wanted something warm and sunset-feeling (partially because I'd been doing a lot of cold paintings – tons of night and underwater scenes). I collected some color palette images I liked on Pinterest, and did a few color studies.
The general palette didn't change much, but I experimented with values – middle study is dark mice against a light background, bottom is dark background (to better show the rim lighting), and top is in between. It really helps me think about composition to remember it is just an arrangement of light and dark shapes – so each shape is either light on dark or dark on light. I decided to go with the center study.
Process is my friend – I really love approaching a finish with confidence because I know what colors and values I'm using, and I have a refined drawing for a foundation and good reference to look at while I paint. I know lots of other people who don't work this way, but for me, it makes everything smoother and faster.
For more info about color, see my blog series here.
...................Jen Betton illustrates and writes for children. You can see more of Jen Betton's mousey sketches here www.facebook.com/jenbettonillustration
More of her work is at these locations online: