How do you get to Carnegie Hall?
practice, practice, practice!
Have you heard that old joke? Well, when it comes to painting fairies, I have a long way to go before I head to New York.
But I’m not kidding about needing a whole lot of practice.
Since I’m painting the mural in the baby girl’s nursery this weekend, I knew I needed to paint some fairies. It’s no secret that painting human figures – or fairy figures – is my biggest challenge.
And I didn’t want to wind up like I did when I was painting the kitty mural – stuck in someone’s house, painting and repainting. And repainting.
So yesterday I sketched 5 different fairies. Simple.
[I sketch better than I paint.]
I painted the stems, just like in the Poppy tutorial. Then I painted the fairy’s body. No problem.
Her arms are a bit too long, but I’m not going for perfect realism. I just want to be able to paint a pretty fairy in a short amount of time.
I’m gonna play around with fairy wings. This first one looks just like a butterfly, doesn’t it? I guess that’s okay, but I’ll try something different tomorrow.
Now the trouble starts.
This looks like something I painted when I was a little girl and I’d spend all day sketching and painting ballet dancers and Breck girls.
You probably have to be over 40 to know about Breck girls.
Every woman’s magazine had a Breck ad in it with a beautiful illustration of a woman. And I’d spend days trying to replicate her.
But this little gal? Not even close. I tried lightening the hair.
Ugh. I’m not feelin’ it, but I told myself “it’s just for practice” and kept going.
[I still can’t believe I’m posting these pics for anyone to see!]
Maybe if I add some gauzy, chiffon-like fabric?
Nope. That hair. It still ‘pulls the eye’.
That’s a term I picked up from teaching dance. I’d have a class of 20 or 25 people and never notice the really good dancers when they were dancing as a group. But that one student who was a little offbeat, they’d be the one to ‘pull my eye’.
It’s the same with decorating or fashion. If one thing sticks out, it takes away from the overall affect.
But I digress. As usual.
I just know the hair ain’t workin’.
So I chalk it up to ‘practice’ and quickly throw in a couple of poppies.
I didn’t use the layering technique – I blended wet paint into wet paint. And, no, I didn’t take pictures because I was too bummed about the fairy that looks like a 12 year old painted it.
I’ll try again tomorrow. Hey, maybe I can progress to when I was 18. By this weekend I should be able to knock out fairies like nobody’s business.
I’m nothing if not optimistic.