Diana Probst, Cambridge Artist

Turtle, Day 1

A few days ago I started on something new. I read a lot of poetry with strange images and play fantasy games, and I took it into my head to paint a turtle the size of a small land mass.

I already had a pencil version at small scale in a sketch book:

Quick sketch of a turtle with a small hut on its back as a clue to scale. It gave me a sense of space and proportions, but it did not have the sense of scale that I wanted from a large painting, and I had not had room for the detail of houses and trees on its back. It did let me know the angle at which I was looking down at the turtle, however. Assuming crystal-clear water, there will still be some distortion around the underwater areas, which I have not really flagged up here. The horizon told me how far away the turtle could be at that angle, and I will probably do a little bit of trigonometry at some point, if I am having troubles.

Then, I painted up a background, and added a blue turtle.Blue outline of Turtle on green with brown blocked sky areaThen I sat back, decided that unlike in the pencil, the flipper should not come so low, and added a note to move the whole thing upwards.

When you frame a piece, the frame comes a little over the painting, and that would mean that the flipper was touching the frame, forming a tangent, which would detract from the whole piece, so I wanted to get that dealt with early on. It is possible to attach new canvas to the edge of a piece, but not easy, and I did not want to get into hot wax treatments; hot beeswax is the perfect glue here.

After that, I went home and looked at pictures of turtles for far too long.