Skull and Sparrows - New Painting

A friend of mine requested an original painting.  She wanted a Day of the Dead inspired painting that combined a sugar skull, sparrows, daisies, swirls, and rainbow colors.  I did a bit of research and here is the thumbnail sketch I came up with.

This painting took me forever to do.  I experimented with a few different techniques, and they took me a long time to figure out.  First I worked on my backgound layers, a step that I had previously not put much effort into.  I was inspired by a video by Regina Lord of Creative Kismet.  You can view the video here.  I collaged layers of sketchbook paper with gel medium, coated them with a light brushing of gesso, then added some yellow with watercolor crayon.  I wish I had taken of photo of this step, but I did not.

Next I did an underpainting in white.  I have never done this, but after seeing this underpainting by David Lozeau I decided to give it a try.  You'll notice his is much, much, much more detailed than mine.   It was more work, but I like how it brightened all of the colors in my final layer.  Here's the underpainting.

Next I did a sketch in pencil over the underpainting to use as a guide.  This is usually where I start, then I do detail work, then try to paint the background in.  You can imagine that this really limited the amount of detail I was able to include in my background.  I much prefer this newer method.

Once the sketch was down, I began painting.  I also had two lovely birdies to paint.  These were thrifted vintage, and I believe they were from Homco circa 1970-something.  They were golden, so I added layer of gesso and painted the the same colors as the sparrows in the painting.  Here's the end result.

I learned a lot with this piece, but most of all I learned that acrylic is a labor of love.  I think my next project may be watercolor, or maybe just a simple ink drawing.  I need a break!  Hey, let me whine just a little bit.  I am 11 weeks pregnant and exhausted.

1 comment:

  1. This looks absolutely uh-may-zing on out walls. Thank you so much again!