Monday, February 18, 2013

Hedgehog painting. (The Animal Kingdom)

Hedgehog, Acrylic, ballpoint ink on hardwood panel. 19,69" x 19,69" /50 x 50 cm.
This is a painting I made for The Animal Kingdom Groupshow at Gallery Nucleus.
It's available here:

I wanted to paint the hedgehog because this animal looks so cute, but if you want to touch it, it would probably hurt you. I love this natural contradiction. Since I am collecting albino images (because they are so rare) I wanted to paint him white. And at the moment it's very cold in the Netherlands, so naturally I'm attracted to the cozy pose of this little animal surrounded by leaves as if he's having a wintersleep.
 Often times I get inspired by pictures. Like, I can see nice colourcombinations or in this case I saw some bokeh, (the way the lens renders out-of-focus points of light) and it looked like snowflakes. Since it's snowing in the Netherlands I added this to the painting.
 I was very happy when I 'discovered' that I could use ballpoint ink on the wood and paint over it with acrylic paint to reduce the reddish  ink glow it gives. Ballpoint is so sharp and fine that it gives a nice contrast with the acrylic paint.
Because acrylic paint dries fast I can easily build the painting with transparent layers.
 First layers with acrylic on the wood.
This is the first sketch and to give it some quick colour ideas and make a composition. As you can see I was drawing a sloth at first...
Sometimes a painting takes total new direction as you can see. I've painted a sloth, but my sister gave me some 'spot on' advice. (Like she always does) The sloth wasn't an interesting shape and the leaves suggests he's is having a wintersleep, so it would be better to make a hedgehog. And second: The sloth is an exotic animal who lives in trees. So...Bye bye sloth!
 Reference pictures I took outside (near my old house).


  1. It's just beautiful, really amazing work!

  2. It has been such a long time since I have checked your blog and it's amazing how you only improve. Such an inspiration ... amazing!! love your work ;)