Thursday, February 5, 2015

How the Rose Blooms

I painted this in December 2014 as a Christmas present for my sister, Brenna. She loves the fairy tale Beauty and the Beast (as well as the Disney version).

I started off by creating a fairly detailed sketch on acrylic paper, using a couple Koh-I-Noor woodless colored pencils. Those are slightly water-soluble, so I softened some areas with washes of water before going in with paint. This was my first real attempt at having an underdrawing with values keyed out already; normally my drawings for paintings are much simpler. For the acrylic, I used my mom's Jo Sonja paints. 

The style was inspired by William Morris's book design and the Kelmscott Press, which I had been learning about in school (example). Also, I had this pretty little dark wood frame I had bought at Goodwill, which had cool scrollwork and just looked fairy tale-ish, so before the painting even began the two were destined for each other.

(Sorry this photo's so awful)

I started off with washes of acrylic rather than using thick paint layers, so the paper still has a glow to it in this first picture of the acrylic stage (there's light coming from the white of the page underneath the paint washes, rather than from the values produced by the paint itself). I wish I'd been able to keep more of this quality, but I wanted to push the highlights more and had a tricky time with it, so I ended up painting and repainting a lot, and the layers piled up. But I'm still happy with the final result. 

This is a different scan of the final than the one I have posted at the top. I think the darks and the color are a little more accurate with this one, but there's some glare from the varnish I added when I was done with the painting, and the texture from the acrylic paper is showing up really strongly for some reason.

The painting took a different direction than I expected, and for a while there I wasn't at all sure what to do with it, but still. So much fun. I love roses. And fairy tales. And my sister. *happy dance*