Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Topiary Girl

Hello! I wanted to tell you about this on-line painting class I'm taking & where it's taking me!!! 

In early January I signed up to take a class by Juliette Crane called How to Paint a Girl. It's not my first on-line class so I was not terribly nervous about how on-line classes work and whether they'd work for me. I was only a little bit nervous but really I was more excited to get over my fears: getting past muddy colors, sharing my art work with other people & painting faces!  It's been two weeks and already I'm making decent progress in these areas. Check out Juliett's sneak peek of How to Paint a Girl & an Owl!

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Here's my painting
Topiary Girl
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I dunno if you can you tell but I really like orange & green together!  Here is one of my 'girls' and I don't know about you but my favorite part of the girl is the skirt! I really love polka dots!

Honestly it took me a while - I worked on and off for days - to get this Topiary Girl accomplished.... but before I took this class I would have been discouraged when I got muddy effects from over painting. I would have either set it aside or worse yet thrown it out. Good thing Juliette talked some sense into me because I've learned how to avoid getting muddy effects. And if I do, and I did get them, I learned to walk away , let it dry, then apply a new color that I do like and continue on. Sometimes if I don't want to wait for the paint to dry on it's own I'll get the craft hair dryer out and speed things along.... my craft hair dryer is really just a travel sized hair dryer... ;-)

For my painting Topiary Girl  not only did I have to over come muddy colors but another more alarming obstacle for me was that I didn't know that I had selected a page with Crackle Glaze on it. I thought it was simply a sparse background of color. I think it was over a year ago that I put that page away. More than enough time to forget that it had Crackle Glaze on it. So, once I started painting everything got crackled needless to say I had to walk away.

I knew that the one thing I didn't want was a girl with cracked skin, or a crackled background. But, maybe I'll use that effect in the future but for now I had to work hard to fix it up. And yes it got muddy and a couple of times and when I went to blot at the paint it horrifically peeled off to the bare paper in some spots - this was unexpected and kinda ruined a few things I was liking. =(

I walked away though and let it dry. I knew I had to keep at it. I'm guessing that's how crackle acts when you water log it and poke at it too much? LOL! But eventually the crackle either came off or got buried under lots of layers of paint and I painted new things that I liked and forgot about the stuff I lost. The only place the crackle looked nice was on the skirt.

I think in two weeks I have come a long way, not just in dealing with my fears of painting faces and sharing my art with other people but in managing to make a difficult painting work by persevering and seeing it through to something that is successful and cute. =D

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Here's what I used: acrylic paint, chalk, origami paper for the dress top, security envelope for the belt & an atom from scrap booking paper for the belt buckle & applied a gem with mod podge. A variety of brushes including: round, flat, sponge, and a stencil brush loaded with 6 different colors for the rounded effect on the topiary I think it really made the topiary's leaves look great!
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I'll make her available at my Etsy shop soon but in the meantime you can let me know what you think!

Happy Days,

1 comment:

  1. I am glad that you stuck with it -- you achieved a nice balance of bright and dark so whatever your struggles were along the way (and we all have them) this one turned out well. It is funny because I am thinking of doing some girl portraits too-- I don't know why my mind turned towards that this week. Course I am not home to do anything yet but I will keep it in mind for the 6 x6 challenge you gave me!