A very nice woman contacted me through my etsy shop and asked me if I could make a clock for her daughter's bedroom. I took pics of some of the different steps and thought I'd share with you!
First, I cut the birch wood to the correct size (well, dh does... i'm terrified of the table saw and try to avoid it when possible). Sand the edges well and lightly sand the front with fine sandpaper.
When I shade the face, the watercolor pencils I normally use are raw sienna, burnt sienna, venetian red, turquoise blue, rosey pink, flesh pink, white, slate blue/gray and black.
Cover the stamped area with the neutral color light paint in varied thicknesses. Leave some peaking through.
I like to use tissue paper for some of the layers. I've also used tulle', scrapbook paper, magazine paper, vintage text (use this a lot, love dictionaries and encyclopedias), or any pretty or cool paper you can find.
This piece I left pretty translucent, since the customer wanted it mostly green and pink. I applied the green paint in different hues, using the darker greens on the outside of the piece more. I normally add a tad of yellow (very translucent) to most of my paintings as I like the warmth of it. It adds a lot of dimension. I use my fingers a lot to rub in into the creases, etc. I also use sponges, clay tools, texture tools (bubble wrap!), etc. I have a box of goodies that creates texture (old cookie cutters, shelf liner, etc... I really like this part ... creating all the texture).
More layers of paper!
I normally paint the entire eye with white first. This way I can let some of the white shine through part of the iris area paint if I want it to. This helps the eyes to be really bright and alive. Eyes are very tricky and it's taken me a long, long time to get them to where I'm happy with them. Initially my eyes were more harsh, with sharper lines. Now they are softer and more natural looking. Of course I'm continually learning and refining my style!
I think a good artist is well aware of their strengths and shortcomings. My biggest shortcoming in my opinion is composition and the laying out of my "scene". I struggle with this and normally paint very simple scenes. I think sometimes I'm too restrictive and I play it safe too much.
I think I have two strengths:
The first is COLOR. I love color. As most artists do, I have colors that I use more than others. I love greens and pinks and black! I remember reading once that some artists think black is not necessary and shouldn't be used. WHAT???!!! I love BLACK! I love the contrast it provides.
I feel that my other strength is DETAIL. Once I have the main character(s) completed and the colors and texture done, I get out my ink pen and my teeny tiny paintbrush and GO TO IT! This is when I shine! I love this part so much!!! I call it the "doodle" stage. I feel so free during this time and it's just natural for me. I just keep writing and drawing and doodling and painting and it just flows. No hesitations. Ahhhh....
Here I cut the text out of an old dictionary that my mother-in-law gave me many years ago. This dictionary literally weighs probably 15 lbs! It is HUGE! You all must be laughing at me cutting up my mother-in-law's gift! Don't worry, she'd approve!
I have my husband attach the clock mechanism. Then I stamp or draw out the numbers (or letters, in this case). This clock says "how time flies" starting at 12:00 and going around (clockwise, of course!).
After the clock part is done, I antique it a bit with some warm brown/sienna wash. I wanted to keep the green really pure in this piece, so I used very little of the antique wash. I normally apply it with a tiny sponge that I've cut into a sort of round long piece.
Then I sign and date it and paint the back. Then a nice layer of varnish is applied. This makes the paint and ink and all of it POP and really come alive.