Projects always look awful, at least to me, at the start. I paint in the background with solid areas first. I know that is a more complicated way to do things but it works for me. Its the details that elevate a piece to art and something different and exciting. Inspiration in this case was from a tapestry from the 1700's I spotted in an Early American craft book. I realized I had never seen anything like this; coned flowers, interesting hairy leaves and of course birds. I had wanted birds on either side of the hole and perch and put them in as well.
Everything I do has to have a heart somewhere and in this case its front and center front and back. The birds are aqua with lavender wings. It took awhile before I would commit to that. Choosing colors in important and I wanted to continue the vibrant tones. Teal and aquas grace the leaves and my trusty Sharpie pens added detail. Its too bad the photo just doesn't show the vibrancy and yes, immediacy of the design. I used a matte finish and discovered there was still a little sheen that complimented the entire project. The final coat of varnish gives vibrancy to each piece.
I have created another version of this design with a larger images that will make it easier to paint. Larger birds, leaves and coned flowers. I think using the end of a brush to make dots will be a hit! If approved I get to paint the sides of the birdhouses and put on the pattern with pencil. Other than designing it, I will wait to see how the first class teaching seniors turns out. Finally, after years of trying it looks like I will finally get a chance to teach a class.
What is disturbing is that people seeing such items want one and in away expect to get one for free. I am brave enough now to say, they're not free. If you want one they can start at $25 and go up from there. "You have no idea, despite the size, of the amount of work that goes into this, upwards of 15 hours each!" I haven't sold any yet. That doesn't stop me of course. I don't mind giving them to those who have done favors for me, people I care for and I know will appreciate the gift.
Get looking and painting. There are a million ideas out there. Don't be afraid to make your own!