Serpent Heart: A Work in Progress

Every once in a while, a few Wild Heart Tribe Members ask me questions about my artwork and some of my processes. My larger paintings usually take hundreds of hours to paint, even a smaller painting takes days. I have a tendency to paint with a very small brush and add multiple layers of colour so the painting transforms itself under different lighting at various times of the day.

I've taken three work-in-progress photographs of my new painting, "Serpent Heart" to give you an idea of how I use acrylic paints in my work. 

Serpent Heart Painting Work In Progress Susanne Iles

The first image (above) reveals several hours of work getting the canvas ready for painting. The background is textured and has multiple layers of colour. The white paint strokes are my way of shaping the central figure, building his form with light.

What a mess! This part is always tricky for me. After layering the white paint strokes, I roughly brush yellow acrylic over the red. This step will tone down the red and give the white lines a layer of colour. It is sometimes difficult to picture the end result when the messy yellow layer gets painted in. I've outlined the heart with little bits of tape that will be pulled off after the paint dries.

Blue! In the image above you can see that I've started washing the colour blue over the canvas. In this case, I am using a dark ultramarine blue to create a purpling in the exposed red. I will continue this pattern for a few more layers, adding white for light, and refining the other colours for movement and depth. After a few more hours of this, I will start to paint the final layer. 

I will post a photo of the finished painting by the end of the week. Thank you so much for being curious and joining me on my journey.

Please feel free to contact me at any time with your questions my Wild Ones.  

You inspire me.

(Update: the Serpent Heart painting is now in the shop. The final painting can be seen in the blog entry "I Had His Six", and at the bottom of this page  )

Serpent Heart Painting by Susanne Iles