Thursday 10 January 2008

SEASON"S GREETINGS to you and yours and we wish you laughter and joy for 2008!

My husband, Johann, took this picture of our first grandchild, Klara, who was born on 31 July 2007 - Here she is seen LOVING her very first Christmas!!! (Click to enlarge)


For Christmas 2007 I made a painting for my daughter, Alexia, and her family. [Acrylic on hardboard - 800cm x 1200cm]. The painting is based on A Tiger took me to the Circus, the second picture book I wrote and illustrated (this was back in in 1986). I used Alexia (then nine) and her doll Sunshine as the central characters in the story. My husband Johann took some photographs while I was painting and I show them below, to share the creative process with you. [START VIEWING FROM THE BOTTOM UP...]

Some final touches added, and now I feel the painting is ready to become a Christmas gift! (These photos were taken outside - for more light)

I've done some work on the foreground, the tiger's feet and some wild grasses.

Here I've started finalising the dark and light areas.

Here I've got the likeness to Alexia right and I've added some darker areas where she sits on the tiger's back. I've also done some work on its eyes.

Here is the start of the new painting of the girl and her doll Sunshine (Alexia still has her little Sunshine to this day...)

I made a new drawing of the girl on tracing paper to fit the body size and position, whited out the old drawing, corrected the background and started a new picture of the girl.

I start working on the likeness to Alexia (more than 20 years ago) and realise the girl needs to be redone!!!

I start work on darkening areas on the tiger to complement the light source.

The Tiger's stripes have been added.
I start on the tiger's fur colour and black stripes.

...and her doll, Sunshine.

I start painting the little girl, Alexia...

I add trees and light filtering in the background to give depth.

I've finished the base colour on the background. Now I have to decide where the main light source will come from.

After duplicating my rough drawing onto the board I start with the background - first adding a base colour. This is a good way to see if the composition and proportions are correct.

... and added a grid to help with the redrawing onto the board.

I have done a rough drawing...

Now it's ready - clean, white and waiting!

Preparing the Hardboard: Johann had added a frame on the back and here I am painting the smooth front with a white base colour (a good quality PVA). My son, Markus, is giving advise.