I begin the dry brush over the black. I want this sculpture to end up with a warm green color, so I'll dry brush with a warm shade of off-white or antique white. Pure white over black tends to cool the colors over it, which is great for blues, but not so much for a piece that's meant to look like the forest in morning sun.
Dry brushing is sort of magical. You have this black surface, then you pass the brush over it and all these complex and beautiful textures are revealed. Sometimes you can even find faces and other accidental creatures. This texture is very woody and rich. I would like to do a video of dry brushing so you can see it in real time. I'm not there yet, but I have a piece coming up that would work well, so hope to make a video then.
Here's the entire sculpture with the first coat of dry brushing. Remember that dry brushing is just that. Dry. It's really easy to get impatient and work with too wet a brush. It's always better to put on thin layers. You can always add more, and you will, with more coats. If you mess up and accidentally paint a big white streak or glob, don't worry. Just let it dry, paint black over it and try again.
This is the head, dry brushed. The color doesn't look as warm as it would in natural light, but I'm working at night. Other things ate up the day. Sometimes it goes that way. What can you do? If you want the work to be done, you must work when you can.
I mix Evergreen acrylic paint with a little black, to make Charleston Green, a favorite of mine. I thin the mix with water. If you want a wash with more control, you can substituted floating medium for the water. The only drawback is that floating medium is whitish, so the color you see isn't completely true until it's dry.
I write my name in pencil on a piece of scratch paper. I'll use this to test the transparency of the wash I just mixed.
A single stroke painted over my name tells me how well the writing shows through. If needed, I can adjust the wash.
I brush the wash over the dry brushed surface. It's thin enough to tint the highlights and still let the dark areas show through.
I brush the wash toward the face all the way around to create a soft frame. Later, this will serve as a background for painted details.
Less slogging today. More enthusiasm. I'll take it!