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Ants Landscape. 2005
Acrylics on stretched canvas, 75 x 100cms
While on a walk we were fascinated to observe what appeared to be a meeting of ants. They barely moved and appeared to be communicating with each other. The ants remained in this same position for about an hour at least.
I felt they made a most interesting subject for a painting, and the location at the base of an old eucalyptus tree was most attractive.
I took several photos and planned my painting.
My first sketch was done straight on the canvas using graphite HB pencil. The main colour was a creamy yellow for the eucalyptus bark and I exaggerated the colours of the dry eucalyptus leaves using Cadmium red and orange(Step 2). In Step 3 a purple was mixed for the remainder of the leaves. I added some darker tones at this stage. Some leaf details were added in Step 4.
When I finished the whole of the environment, I painted the ants on top in Step 5 doing it freehand to give my impression of them holding their meeting. I used black and blue to illustrate the shiny ant bodies as they were in reality in the sunlight. Some of the legs I painted using the tip of the brush handle.