On this final (for now) Garuda, here is the story of Mitchell’s Garuda.
Mitchell and I were buying statues from a Tibetan man in Nepal
(long story, another time) and had never met him nor spoken with him.
An anthropologist from University of Chicago carried messages.
The first time he carried messages to him about the interesting statues we wanted to buy the Tibetan artist said he could do that, and he also had a gift for Mitchell.
Earlier that year Mitchell had enjoyed
a drumming group intended to induce trances.
He experienced a large bird-man spread
his wings in front of him.
Mitchell had never seen anything quite like him.
When we opened the gift for Mitchell, this statue
was the bird-man he had seen that day!
This is my rendering of the Garuda as
Mitchell saw him, with bright ruby and
cobalt wings spread, coming out of darkness.
I began with a pencil sketch in Pentalic 2B,
then inked him with blue De Artramentis Document Ink.
I began again with the yellow ball behind his head and a general background of Quinacridone Gold (Holbien has a very soft creamy version) and Primatek Yavapei.
A buildup of French Ultramarine and Quinacridone Coral and
Quinacridone Gold was applied to his body, with the wonderful
Quinophthalone Yellow deepening the ball on the background.
Layers of wonderful Primatek Green Apatite and Primatek Peimonite
with a mix of Quinophthalone Yellow and an unknown orange leftover for the ball.
Layers were never completely dry on the background, as I kept dropping color to deepen.
I needed to deepen the body colors
and delineate feathers.
It is not easy to paint
what is in someone else’s head.
I added more detail to his body
with the ink pen.
Mitchell kept describing as I added color,
this time darker French Ultramarine.
I almost always let the body dry
between buildup because I did not want a
but detail to begin to be seen.
Right is a detailed area.
I added a darker semi-opaque stripe of feather in Perylene Red.
Primatek Hematite and Primatek Peimonite began to give him a base,
while Mayan Blue and Daniel Smith Quinacridone Gold darkened the sky.
I wanted a vortex effect.
More layers of French Ultramarine and Quinacridone Coral and Quinacridone Gold.
Finally, details: Primatek Hematite and Primatek Peimonite with Sepia,
French Ultramarine and Quinacridone Coral and Quinacridone Gold.
Garudas to date!
Strathmore journals, with a Pentalic 2B woodless pencil,
Platinum Preppie Pen, De Artramentis Document ink,
and Daniel Smith and Holbien watercolor paints.
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Love the ferocity! No wonder Mitchell was captivated by this figure.
Thank you for you lesson of your washes and process. Am bookmarking this for referral when I paint.
It was nto easy trying to paint what I had not seen — he kept looking over my shoulder!
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Wonderful post Katie, love the birdman and the story behind him. Valerie
At first I found an Aztec god, then I managed to translate the story you tell and I found interesting in any of my travels I have seen the bird men act, in some parts even rituals that resemble this bird man remain. Saludos
It is hard when translating. When I’ve visited your blog my high school Spanish does not get me very far!