Wednesday, October 23, 2013

This Girl is on Fire!

There are so many subjects on my list of 'things to paint someday', and I am THRILLED when i finally get to cross one off.

Last week, I finally painted a gigantic, vintage/retro looking fashionable LADY in a massage therapy spa.  I was sooo nervous about this mural, but I did some research (watched several 'how to paint human eyes videos on youtube!) and I am rather proud of myself for the outcome. She is realistic, her eyes match up and she has a retro flair that I'm pretty crazy about!
This photo stinks....but the room has NO OVERHEAD LIGHT. It's a massage treatment room, after all, so low lighting is key. I painted the whole thing is 'almost' darkness, so i would know how it would be viewed by clients.  There is a cherry blossom tree in the corner, which is heavily foiled and painted over with bright pink and white and is garish with the lights on....therefore I shall not show you a photo lest I ruin my reputation for being really good at color selection.   But in low lighting, it is gorgeous.  You can see some of the cherry blossoms creeping up into the girl's hair in the right hand corner.

Last year, I painted the reception area in this Spa. I trowelled  a Champagne Mist Lusterstone base, and then created a metallic foil mural of reeds and cranes over the top of it.
I wanted to keep the color scheme similar and use a lot of foils again for my 'lady mural'.

I was given an inspiration photo, which was a digital artwork of a woman's face with fire, and melted plastic superimposed over it (which sounds creepy, but it isn't.)   I had to 'clean up' and simplify the image to fit into my skill set  (wish I could paint totally realistic looking fire!!!!)  and I decided to use Gold Hologram foil in the fire areas of the painting.  The hologram foil changes colors as you move around the room, making it look like it is actually on fire. I used tons of red, purple, pink, gold, and hologram foil for both the Lady and the Cherry Blossom Tree murals.
One thing that occured, that I hadn't really planned on, was that our inspiration photo had no hair, no ears, a missing eyebrow...a lot of anatomical things were missing. The more detail I put into her face, the more obvious it became that she needed hair ( and at least one ear!). I experimented with a few methods of hair painting and I really like this simple suggestion of hair. I think the simply outlined ear and the faintest suggestion of a neck bring it all together and complete the painting. Without them, my eye went right to the places that were missing body parts.

I had a lot of fun painting this mural. It was a nice pace, in a quiet place, that was very relaxing and free of pressure. I felt free to experiment with some different techniques.   I need more jobs like that!

In a few weeks I will return and create another lady mural in the nail salon area of the Spa. I'm really excited to step out of my comfort zone again--it's so important to try new things as an artist!

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