Elizabethan Animals


I have always had an interest in costumes throughout the ages, one favourite being the Elizabethan era for the upper class. Dress was rich in colour and the fabrics were tactile and luxurious. With texture in mind I came across a lovely natural linen canvas that was versatile for mixed media. I wanted to produce a painting using the canvas to be an integral part of the painting. I needed a subject that would work well with the canvas showing through, that’s when certain animal heads came in to play.
I began outlining the animal head in ink and then to make it come alive added the main features (eyes and nose) in acrylic paint. Small amounts of pastels is applied to subtly add highlights and lowlights being careful not to cover too much of the canvas.
The next stage is adding the costume in acrylic paint to bring alive the colour and texture. In order to accentuate the face I add an ink wash to the background and slowly build it up to achieve the right balance. The finishing touches are tiny embellishments of gold to make the jewellery and armour glint.