|Basic birdhouse, new feet, wooden|
hearts and wooden trees.
Even though I forgot to photograph the birdhouse in its raw state, it still looks pretty bleak here. Adding the feet takes it a step above the original state and the addition of wooden hearts gives a dimensional embellishment to the painting that will follow.
Thinking the sides were a bit boring, I added wooden cutout trees and planned to paint them "treelike" and would glue them at the end of the project.
|Armed with a pencil, pen and soft eraser the birdhouse takes shape!|
Choosing a body color is often quite difficult. I try to decide on a basic color and based on that add other colors that I think compliment both the body color and what I envision in minds-eye. It may sound easy but can lead to all kinds of problems, especially when the colors don't work out the way you thought they would.
|Putting the colors together|
I will never forget the night after the wallpaper was put up. I dashed upstairs and looked at what had been done. I thought I had been sucker punched it looked so ugly. The deep green didn't go with the walls at all. With the carpeting man coming first thing in the morning all I could think of was that I was going to have to paint another color all over again and this time on top of the carpet and wallpapered walls. When my mother-in-law, there to let the carpet man in, called me the next day, urging me to come home for lunch, I went with a heavy, HEAVY heart. She was all smiles when I walked in the door and motioned me to go up and look. I can remember trudging up those stairs thinking, can it get worse?
|I tend to paint the back to|
mirror the front, many times with
a fake black bird-hole.
When I opened the door and beheld the carpeted room, I was stunned at how wonderful it looked. It was simply perfect. Somehow, that coral carpet pulled it all together just like the samples we had looked at and agonized over. Two of the three were disasters. When all the pieces were put together it worked. For artists, for many other people as well, colors work that way.
|Painting the roof makes a difference.|
Once I got the front, back and sides painted, I stumbled yet again. What to do with the roof? For many years I would ignore the roof and either draw tiles, straw or use a multi colored series of strokes on top of a dark color ... usually an uninspired brown. I have moved away from that but what to do here. Like my home, the roof is very prominent. Finally after a bit of experimenting, I decided to try using the same colors for the roof as well as the trees setting them both off against the yellow.
Picking up the dark green from the base, I used teals and raw sienna stokes picked up from the tree to see what it would look like. The wonderful thing with acrylics is that you are merely another coat away from perfection! Putting two hearts on each side of the roof picked up the hearts on the front and back and made it look more unified. It is so tempting to add color and then more colors before you realize you are dealing with 15 or 20 colors.
|Painted but not aged.|
Just like the wild layouts in the early days of desktop publishing where a page might have 6 or 7 fonts and was usually unreadable (they had to call in retired typesetters to teach a new generation the secrets of typesetting) adding more and more colors does not make a craft lovely. If you study the finest pieces, the ones you might like the most you will see there are only 8 or 9 basic colors. Much Chinese and Japanese pottery used just blue on a white base to create some of the loveliest designs ever seen.
|The antiqued final|
My style and yes it my alone is that while I use bright, vibrant colors, I really want each of my pieces to look old not new. I have always tended to antique each piece after taking a class that showed how bright, maybe discordant colors can be brought together when the whole is toned down. I loved the concept and couldn't wait to go home and put a few of my already finished, and admittedly garish pieces, to the test. I loved the effect and was especially pleased when people would ask where I had found this lovely old birdhouse, tray or platter. When I said it was something I had done, they would stare, pick up the piece and give it the once over.
So, we don't have to just settle for what is out there in the marketplace. Just like scrapbooking I would guess, it is what you add to the project that makes a delightful whole.
Thank you for reading my blog. Please, take the time to explore earlier blogs where the emphasis here and always is to explore the ways design affects our lives ... and always has.