My Pinterest “likes” include dozens of painted animal portraits. How about you? I have been dying to try my hand too, and starting a new business last year kept me from feeling like I had time to make it happen.
You see, I graduated many
decades years ago with a degree in painting, believe it or not. Five long years of painting, drawing, sculpting on top of everything else like English and history.
My first job after graduation was illustrator for an education company. But, I soon discovered the world of graphic design where I designed magazines and advertising, then I scaled ladders and scaffolding as a full-time faux finisher for 15 years.
Drawing and painting were sadly forgotten as I earned a living, got married and had a family.
The other day I gifted myself with some precious time to play with paint. My subject was Lacey Jane, my feline office assistant. I decided that I should have simple expectations – no perfection, no masterpiece. Just a bit of a study and a basic goal – to capture Lacey’s personality.
I want to develop my own recognizable style. But at this point I have to find it first, right?
No, at no point did I think I could paint a posing feline. Instead, I printed out a photo of kitty for a guide, and used some colors from my wonderful stash of Fusion Mineral Paint tester colors. I armed myself with a giant container of brushes, plus some special ones I purchased in Italy years ago.
And I jumped in, armed with black coffee and soft jazz.
First, I sketched a few areas with a pencil. Yup, right away I noticed the left eye was wonky. No problem. Easy to fix.
Then I just started filling in some areas. Lacey’s eyes are her best feature, so I wanted to get them right.
Then, I really just washed in colors. I mixed Fort York Red with some Prairie Yellow to get orange. Coal Black was easy as is. And I used more Prairie Yellow plus colors like Ceramic for the eyes. Casement was my choice for the bright white, and Champlain for the soft contrast.
At one point I hated what I did and painted it out, let it dry, and started over. The beauty of using Fusion is that it is 100% acrylic, easy to use, mix, add water, and – yup paint over LOL.
Finally, I reached a point where I thought my little study was done. I left some pencil marks and simplified areas like her fur. Knowing when to stop is key for sure. Now I am ready to go further, with some confidence and excitement that I can do this!
And you can do this too. Painting furniture with Fusion Mineral Paint is vastly different than painting a kitty or a landscape, so doses of patience and confidence are important. My first attempt is not perfect, but I think I captured Lacey Jane’s essence.
So, now she has gotten the big head. She has selected a fancy gold frame… and anticipates a gallery showing in New York.
I gently whispered to her that we have to save some excitement for next week.