Sunday, October 23, 2011

Custom 8x10 painting - Abby in her Tutu

Abby in her Tutu

A few months back I came across a picture that Harmony took of her daughter - and instantly fell in love with the pose, the lighting, the amazing colors. With Harmony's permission I briefly visited Harmony's photograph in my Everyday Art painting from August 2. However, there is only so much detail you can capture in an ACEO-sized painting (at least when you are painting one every day and don't want to spend hours on each one with a tiny paintbrush). Needless to say, I was THRILLED when Harmony asked me to paint her a custom 8x10 of her sweet daughter.

I took a slightly different approach to this painting than I usually do. I work with a small set of about 12 professional-grade Schmincke watercolors from which I mix all my own in-between shades and hues. With watercolors you can't mix too many different colors together without getting a "muddy" color. I love bright, true colors, and so, I have developed my mixing routines that bring forth consistent results.
I like to paint the exact color I want onto the paper, rather than layering different colors on top of each other. For this painting, however, I decided to experiment a little.

Most of my paintings are either "just made up" or *inspired* by a photo. This time I decided to paint closer to the photo than usual - among other things because of the amazing colors that this photo has. Upon zooming in, I was surprised to find that little Abby's shoulders have blue and purple light reflecting off of them. The dark wooden floor really hardly has any true brown in it, but rather consists of pinks and purples and blues that reflect back at the camera.

Before adding the beautiful chocolate brown tone of Harmony's daughter's skin, I washed in some blues, pinks, purples and oranges.

Here you can see all the different colors that are "hiding" under the skin tones and wood tones of the floor. Only the tulle of the tutu was painted as the bright, pure colors I usually use. 

I am quite happy with this painting. What do you think about the end result?

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