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.