Friday, March 11, 2011

New Painting! Operation Fill-A-Frame #7

My mom gave me two giant silvery frames that my husband and I decided would look good behind our couch in the teal room of our house. The two frames have been sitting in the office forever, and since they're part of Operation Fill-A-Frame (even though I don't plan on selling them), I figured since I had the idea and the intent, might as well get started on them.

We decided that some tropical birds would look cool in that room. The only birds I'd painted were these penguins and the blue heron, and for a few years now I have wanted to paint some more tropical birds... just kept putting it off. I knew right away that one would be a toucan but was unsure of the 2nd bird.
I got out a couple of canvases and began painting blue skies:

The skies were tough because if I made them too dark they would look nasty and stormy, but if I made them too light, they'd clash with the dark teal that's already on the walls. I thought these were going to be too dark for my liking but they ended up being just right.

I started the first one and sketched a bird I found after extensive research online. I ended up changing the bird quite a bit though, and added those fun little plumey things on his head.
First coat of paint, just blocking in color.
You're going to think I'm crazy, but after the first night of painting- sketching out the composition and blocking in the color, I was playing around online and went to, one of my favorite silly sites. I saw this graph and didn't care so much about what the graph was actually representing- I just couldn't get enough of the color scheme.

I had to have it.
I decided to adapt my black bird to this color scheme. I made him a dark purple instead of just flat black.

I did a little more work on the plants, painted his wings, and gave him a bright orange beak rather than a plain gray one.

Finished up the details on the bird and the plants and framed him up. Done!

I'm not too happy with the composition in the mat the way that it is- even though I measured, I still went too high with his head. I might have to actually use my husband's circular saw and cut off the bottom 2 inches of the painting (I didn't paint anything there anyway) and move it down in the frame to where I want it. It's a canvas panel, so I think sawing off the bottom should be OK.

I also changed up my painting process on this one. Instead of taking a month or more to do a painting, I did this one in about 4 nights- 10 hours. I could have easily spent 40 or more hours on it though. What I'm finding at art shows is that people enjoy my art, but they seem to enjoy the subject matter more than the technique and craftsmanship that goes into it. If I spent 40 hours on a painting, I've got to charge a pretty good price for it to pay myself for my time, right? But if people like a picture but don't care or notice that every leaf has the tiniest amount of detail in it and is blended to perfection, why painstakingly take the time to do all of my paintings that way?

It's tough because you don't want to sell out, but at the same time if you have an idea that you think people might like, you've got to make it marketable- if you're going to try and sell it, that is. I'm experimenting a little with trying to find a balance there, so as I do more paintings, you may notice some of my new stuff being cheaper. I figure if I ever get myself into a prestigious art gallery, that market is going to be a lot different than the outdoor-art-show crowd (at least the ones I've gone to). The art gallery can appreciate the detailed florals, the outdoor crowd will probably enjoy the same subject matter with a fraction of the time it takes to create a more detailed piece.

Have a great weekend everyone!

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