Girl's Night Out

Was invited to a Girl's Night Wine and Paint at 16 Main Art Gallery in Madison. I went, and we were given a board with a pre-printed ballerina on it. Our job was to paint her in acrylic. I was a good girl and followed the instructor step-by-step. It was a totally different method of thinking for me, and I think it confused a lot of the other women in the class. I found myself expounding color theories more than once. Basically, we were supposed to glaze the color on in light, watered down washes for the dark parts, then add white to the color and glaze the light parts. And mix a background color (one of the colors straight from the tube) with brown (she never said if she meant or warm or cool brown, which, depending on the color each woman chose, could turn out ok or horribly wrong). If I could do this over, I would have made the background a lighter, golden brown color. Or a bluish gray, like a Sargeant painting. I understand the concept that a dark background will make a lighter colored ballerina pop, but so will a muted background with a less neutral ballerina.

I originally did warm blue (mixed with the warm brown, although I actually MIXED them together until I got a sort of peacock blue, instead of just dipping my brush in each and getting whatever I ended up with). Towards the "light" side, we were supposed to do just a straight application of our color (warm blue from the tube for me). It was too awkward and flat for my tastes. So I started adding glazes of this straight from the tube ugly green (olive color?) that is not something I would or have ever used (I prefer viridian) and weirdly enough it started to bring some life to the background that I wouldn't have thought it capable of.
The ballerina herself I knew I wanted to have a sort of muted teal bodice and a very subtle blush colored tutu, with paler aqua tights. I wanted the colors to be reminiscent of Leslie Caron in American in Paris, during the ballet scene when she and Gene Kelly are dancing in the garden. For the tutu I applied a peachy-pink color along the hem and then dragged it upwards so that it would have sort of an ombre affect and be almost white where it met the bodice. The skirt turned out ok, but towards the end I was waiting on everyone to catch up and I thought the painting needed a slight pop of color so I added beading in a cool pink. Then, because most ballet costumes are heavily decorated, I added some sequins on the bodice. It was a look that more than one woman copied.

I'm not going to lie, her face was pretty severe and plain (she was kinda ugly). To make her pretty, I gave her some false eyelashes. Or serious eyeliner. However you want to look at it. Then a light sweep of blush on her cheeks (too much made the shadows look weird on her cheeks), and coral on her lips completed her makeup. I originally had this idea that I wanted the focus to be on her lips and that they would be a brighter color, but decided it would ruin the soft look of the picture. I also put some gold in her brown hair, just to add a little more color into the painting.

Overall, it was fun to do and I'm fairly pleased with the way it turned out. The only thing I don't  like is the antique glaze we put over it, which rubbed off some of the paint on her face (now she looks like she has a mustache), and which ruined -I think- the subtle coloring of her tutu.
For reference, the painting size is 8x10.
And the other ladies all did a pretty good job too. It was wonderful to see all the different color combinations they came up with.
Oh, and for the record, I didn't drink any wine. I've heard of other artists drinking tea while they work, but never wine. Myself, I don't think I drink anything when I'm painting. And I was definitely there to paint!


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