Thursday, April 19, 2012

Sugar and Spice - Portrait of a Tiny Ballerina

Sugar and Spice
11 x 14
Raymar Panel

This is how Sugar and Spice came to be...

I started with a 11 by 14 raymar panel and began to sketch my little subject.  With the beginnings of every painting I have so much much excitement...I am so looking forward to this project.  and then...AACK...and immediate roadblock!  I realized that the sketch was too small on the panel.  I wanted the tulle skirt to be so large that it went off both sides. 

Undaunted I wiped it off and began again.  I like this size much better.  (Note to self...sketch more and you will wipe less) 

I have blocked in the colors and I think everything is in the right place.  I am trying to make the skirt as dark pink as I can because I know I am going to lighten it later and I want it to look like lots of layers of tulle.  I love the socks she is wearing and know I want that to be a design element...I like the juxtaposition of the pretty feminine dress and the sport socks.  I like the word juxtaposition.  

I decided on a dark background...the light is coming from the right as you face the I bring in some lights there.  I have darkened her hair so I can create depth with a lighter color later on. The facial features seem to be falling into line...I want an impressionistic look...soft lines.  The chair has become a little off...aauuugghhh! 

Ah...and now I have lightened the hair...lightened the tulle in the skirt...refined the face and I have fallen in love with this little dancer...this is me smiling ;)


  1. Fabulous!! Love her! The skirt is just amazing! Love how you handled this and that you knew what your vision was the whole way through is so good and you stuck to that. This needs to be a whole series...

  2. This was fun to see the painting evolve. Also what you expected and how you got what you wanted. She is darling. Good job Maria.

  3. This is me smiling, too! :-) I loved seeing your process. You are good at articulating what you are going to do and why you are doing it. Your little ballerina series is so sweet. I see more in your future! At least I hope so!

  4. I love getting to see the progression! You did such a great job - and I love that you didn't just brush over what would be her face, because it's hard - you gave her a beautiful face, and the composition and pose are just lovely!
    This is me smiling :D

  5. What fun to go along for the ride on your creative journey! How can you start a day better than having a good laugh before you're even out of bed! And I love that you like the word juxtaposition. I've enjoyed your series on this little bobby socks ballerina!

  6. And you should be smiling! Very charming painting and a great demo. Thanks so much for taking the time to show us all your process.

  7. I really like this one. I like the steps, and it's a great painting

  8. How did I miss this post? I love this painting! So much spice in that girl!! But she's such a sweetie too.

    The tulle is beautifully done. I really like the shading of the background and the bright chair. Her head and arms are so her, I just want to hug it!

    Lucy says, "I like the dress.... I like the socks." She too likes the juxtaposition! That cracked me up! She is really good at seeing details. Whenever anyone gets a haircut, she is the first to notice. Maybe she has Aunt Maria's artistic eye.


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