Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Barefoot Ballerina

Barefoot Ballerina
16 x 20
Oil on Raymar Panel

I do love my little ballerinas!  As I was painting this piece I took pictures to show my process.  scroll down to see those...I think it is fun to see how the piece changes as I progress.  They may look like minor changes but to me they are humongous!

Speaking of humongous....when I completed the piece I noticed how large this little girls eyes are...I thought maybe I was channeling my inner Margaret Keene, who painted those large eyed kids in the 70's...but this little girls eyes really are huge!  She is so beautiful!  

Here is my initial sketch.  I have been trying to sketch every night and it is paying off...I only had to reposition her once to get her where I want her on the canvas.  

I have a large easel and working with panels used to prove to be a challenge...BUT not since I got my award winning Alter Easel from Karin Jurick.  It holds my smaller panels securely and you can see I am using it here!  I just love it!  I also have the table top version.  

Commercial is over....on with the show...

Here I have blocked in the colors and I want to make sure I like where everything is.  The colors let me really see what I am doing.  The leg placement and angle bother me...

Here I am refining more, checking the features on the face and the placement of the legs.  I am not happy with the legs so I scooted the knee towards the center of her body so she looks cozier.  I exaggerated the angle of the arm that is down and snuggled it into her body more to give her a huggable look.  I wanted her nestled into the side of the canvas.

A few years ago, repositioning anything on the canvas would fill me with fear and trepidation.  While watching one of Susan Carlin's online demo's she mentioned that a leg was too far down on her canvas.  She simply swiped across bottom and added a bit to the top and within a few seconds the positioning was perfect!  Such an elementary solution to what I would have thought was a drastic change.  So, taking a page from Susan's book, I moved things around pretty effortlessly.  


  1. Your best yet! Love the face and the way she is dynamically set to the side of the canvas. Quang Ho says that there is no such thing as negative space and this painting proves that...really makes a statement. Wonderful demo and felt right there with you in the process. Maria this is my new favorite!!

  2. I love the lighting on her face and neck- it's beautiful! It really does seem cozy the way she is to the side and her posture. A show stopper!

  3. This is one of my favorites for sure! She is beautiful and you captured it. Really really like the composition. Nice shapes.

  4. I love how elegant and regal she looks! This is one of my favorites.


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