DiamondBack Acrylic Painting by Julie Originals

Who LIKES snakes? Not me! I was NOT excited about painting a Diamondback Rattlesnake. I prefer to illustrate cute kitties and birds, but I was committed to my 26 Alphabetic Animals in 31 Days Project.

The next letter was “D” and that stood for the Diamondback, one of Tucson’s venomous inhabitants.

Here’s my process of how this snake went from sloppy to sophisticated. I began with the background and then sketched out the rattler’s squirmy slithery body.

Diamondback Rattlesnake Acrylic Painting Step 1

I added some light and dark values to add depth and create texture for the snake’s scales.

Diamondback Rattlesnake Acrylic Painting Step 2

I felt that my painting was turning out to be the sloppiest most blah painting I had ever done. I wanted to quit partway through and just trash it. Luckily I was listening to an interesting podcast called “Artists Helping Artists” and I kept on painting.

Diamondback Rattlesnake Acrylic Painting Step 3It helped that I was listening and just painting, instead of over thinking each decision. Zoning out really helped to get over the “ugly hump”. Do you ever get discouraged part way through a painting?

Diamondback Rattlesnake Acrylic Painting Step 4

One of the challenges I had was trying to paint really detailed scales. All of these paintings are only about 7″ x 5.5″ and although I use a pretty small brush, I found it was hard to get that sort of dotted scaled look. Does anyone have any tips for painting details like that?

Julie Originals Acrylic Paintings

Once the “Snakeover” was complete, I stood back and felt pretty satisfied with how it turned out. I am glad I didn’t stop or trash the painting.

Now I have 4 out of the 26 paintings completed:

  1. Anna’s Hummingbird
  2. Bighorn Sheep
  3. Coyote
  4. Diamondback

What animal do you think “E” will be?

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