Friday, 30 May 2014

Painting process: Flight to Freedom

Sorry for the silence last week! I had some very important exams that I had to focus on.
I already made this painting some time ago but I still had the process pictures to share, so, why not do it now?

This painting was an assignment given by my therapist. Firstly she wanted me to draw my biggest fears and anxieties, which turned out to be incredibly confronting and difficult to me. I even left some at her office because I didn't want to look at them. Needless to say I was very happy with her next 'assignment'; to draw myself as the person I would like to be - free and happy, without anxieties, fears and depression.

This picture from an earlier outfit post on this blog was my reference. I edited a few things out and I made myself look thinner in the actual painting. Why? Because I'm in the process of losing weight and it couldn't hurt painting my goal at the same time, right?
I really liked the feel of this picture. I first wanted to paint myself surrounded by my loved ones, but then I realised I already am surrounded by my loved ones (and very happy with that!). So I decided to paint myself as a faery, rising from the dark into the sky, into freedom.

 I don't have a picture of the sketch alone, unfortunately. But here you can see I've started on the dress and the skin and hair. I first indicated the print on the dress with large blobs of paint, and then added a shading layer, then more detail to the print, then another shading layer, and so on.

I painted most of the painting in my garden with copious amounts of fresh mint and lemon balm tea. I wouldn't be Jopie if I didn't pick a matching tea cup!

I decided to paint myself with dragonfly inspired wings as I really like to paint the iridescence and I thought they would fit wonderfully with my dress. Here you can see the process from bottom to top. The key is to add lots of very thin layers of differently colored paint.

I started out with indicating the panels with a very thin layer of indigo paint, leaving the veins white. Then add some light blobs of a reddish pink, and then for the third layer, paint some yellow and green very lightly on random patches. When it's dry, paint a very light wash of indigo all over the wings. And for the last step - define the panels, edges and veins with more indigo and a small brush.

I already explained how I made the printed dress, but here's another picture that shows the process well!

I finished the painting at Bagels & Beans, one of my favorite lunchrooms. Here you can see some process on the background washes - the more and more different layers of colour I add, the darker it becomes. Here I used a bright foresty green on the first layer, and then added lots of layers of indigo and Vandyke Brown untill it was dark enough for my liking.

And here is the result! I hope you like it.

My website isn't up to date - working on that!


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