Gillian’s farm…part three
Here are some more photos of the process of making a farm scene painting for the bedroom of Baby Gillian. My biggest challenge has been to try to keep this light and whimsical and not to spin off into too-realistic.
So…the sign is blocked in and underpainted…the pig is there — and I like her placement — but her details need lots of refinement. The hen and chicks needs more feathers and important little details like eyes and beaks. The cows are fine — I won’t mess with them anymore — and I notice that they seem to be a cross between Holsteins and belted Galloways…so I’ll name them Belted Bethesdasteins 😉
Here’s a close-up… you can see I’ve added lots more feathers to the hen and given the horse a mane and tail. The chicks are fully feathered and beaked and have little eyes.
I’ve painted the sign background with matallic gold acrylic…it’s very shiny and I may decide to tone it down later by putting a dulling wash over it. I’ve blocked out the letters with an opaque white paint and later I’ll add color. I’m not keen about that little cartouche thing on the sign, so I’ll change that.
The pig has her various wrinkles and folds…and her hooves. Now all she needs are some soft hairs added to her face and arms.
This is a good place to talk about the versatility of acrylic paints. I tend to use them only for fun projects, but they can be used for serious projects, too, and I want to do that more in the future. In this painting I have used them in much the same way I would watercolor…and acrylics can do that. Watercolors are, as the name suggests, colors (pigments) carried in water…the water evaporates and the color remains. Problem with real watercolors is that they are fragile on the paper…get the paper wet after the painting is done and -poof!- the picture is ruined. Acrylics can be diluted greatly and used transparently, just like watercolors, BUT they forn a tough plastic-y layer when dry and are much more permanent and completely light-fast, unlike watercolors. Acrylics can also be used like oil paints and put on the canvas (or board or paper) very thickly (and in some parts of this painting I’ve done that). Unlike oil paints, acrylics are non-toxic (unless you spread them on toast and eat them!) and don’t have fumes as they dry. Clean-up is super-easy — just soap and water, unlike the turpentine needed to clean the brushes used with oils. If you want to learn to paint, consider using acrylics, rather than oils.
Tomorrow I’ll post the last stages of Gillian’s Farm…and an image of the finished product. I’m very pleased with the finished painting…stay tuned to see it!