Diana Probst, Cambridge Artist

Turtle, day 3

Today was a comparatively short day on the turtle – I did not have to add any details, and it was just coloured blocks.

Picture of a swimming turtle with a white shape where a flipper used to be.

I went back to the original sketch, and found that I had one of the flippers wrong, so I re-undercoated the area in white. This is a trick that I learned when I was painting miniatures in acrylic paint, and I do not know if it will work in oils. I have to bring up the canvas to the point where it blends into the sea once more, but I am sure it will be easier from white than from dark brown.

Then I looked at my collection of greens, and sulked a little. All the colours I have pre-mixed are translucent, and I wanted to stick to easy methods and reproducible colours so as to finish the turtle in under a fortnight of painting. I took my two darkest, thickest greens, mixed them in roughly equal proportion, and put the result everywhere that the trees on the turtle’s back would cast shadows. I also used it to sketch in possible angles for agricultural land. A short day’s work, but without the shadows it would take me a very long time to paint the trees.

A turtle with a dark green area blocked out over most of the shell for the shadows of trees.

Note how the colours here look different to the ones above – the iPhone has a very limited range, and so with more darks on the shell, the rest is altered to equalise the picture. Upcoming I have a blog post that compares cameras on a different painting.