I told you a while ago…

I told you a while ago that I'd bought some acrylic paints and was trying to do some internet lessons on how to paint? I'm not sure I told you why -- at least initially, it was an attempt to make a birthday present for my sister. She's been looking for artwork that features bharata natyam dancers, and had a hard time finding pieces she liked. So I thought I'd try making some for her. At first, I wasn't sure what style to do -- I could have tried photography, for example, but that seemed complicated -- going to a show, getting permission to photograph the dancers, etc. I've always wanted to paint, so I decided to go with that.

After working through a dozen or so basic lessons, I found some photos of bharata natyam dancers on the internet, and used Illustrator to make silhouettes so I could more easily see the shapes of them. (My free one-month trial of Illustrator is about to end; sad. Ah well.) Then it was just mixing and laying down the paint.

After a few weeks, stealing a little time to practice here and there, when we had babysitting or Kevin could watch Kavi (because acrylics dry fast, even with a stay-wet palette, it's not something you can really do with interruptions, such as a baby so loves to provide), I think I finally made a few pieces I'm happy with. I've figured out that I prefer thick paints to thin, so that the finished piece has some texture. More texture might be better -- I think in the future, I might get a medium to mix with the paints that's supposed to make them go on even thicker. And I really like playing with brushstrokes -- wide brushes, thin ones, using the brushstrokes to indicate how the limbs move in front of each other, when the monochromatic color of this kind of piece would otherwise make it difficult to tell. It's cool.

I'm not sure if Mirna will like them, of course, and I don't want her to feel obliged to hang them. Art is so individual. If she decides she doesn't want them, I guess I'll hang on to them and try to sell them on Etsy or at an art show sometime. But fingers crossed that she thinks they're cool. Now I just need to go find some matting and frames...

Next project, I want to do a series of Ramayana paintings for WisCon, in reds and oranges and golds. Princes and princesses and demons and monkey kings. :-) We'll see if I have time to actually do that before Memorial Day...

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