Thursday, 16 June 2011

Hello love, hey birdie.

Hellosies sweet reader. :-)

Inspired by some of the blog posts by Tara Leaver, I did a painting and took progress shots of it. It's fun to look back at how the painting started and where it ended up. :) Hope you like!

hello love  - detail shot
detail shot :-)

Progress shot 1:
Hello Love - Progress Shot 1

So I started off doing a sketch of a portrait, female with flowers in her hair and a bird on the left of her. I then started working on her face first. Oh, this is created on wood prepared with transparent gesso. Materials are a mix of watersoluble crayons, graphite and acrylics.

Progress shot 2:
Hello Love - Progress Shot 2

I then added paint to the roses and hair. It's weird, I was going to try create a painting in pretty muted, mostly white and light grey/ pink tones, but couldn't help myself with the darker purple and reds. Guess colours just want me and I want them ha ha! My next challenge will be to create a painting with ONLY white and black and greys. That'd be interesting! Anyhoo, moving on.

Progress shot 3:
Hello Love - Progress Shot 3

I then applied my first layer of background. This was sort of random although I chose colours that I liked and was mindful of choosing colours that were sort of complimentary. And often, when I like the colours, they tend to be complimentary as well.

Progress shot 4:
Hello Love - Progress Shot 4

So, then a few days went by and I let the painting just marinate for a while. There was something off for me with the face. When I started working on it again I decided that I thought the eyes were too close together, so I wanted to adjust the eyes a bit. I made them both a little smaller and I was much happier with her face this way. I liked the shape of her eyes this way too, a bit deer-esque. :) I also worked on the birdie (which was a completely new one compared to the one I had sketched) and I added more texture to the background and started with adding words. 'Hello Love' just came to me and 'hey birdie' was written on the birdie tummy. :) I used a brayer for some of the texture effects and a graphite crayon with which I scribbled lines around randomly. Colour-wise I used titanium buff for the bird, I often underestimate titanium buff. I often just think; "eugh, such an ugly colour, it looks like a very dirty white", but the colour is actually one of those colours that is really really effective. (Also for skin tone btw!).

Progress shot 5:
Hello Love - Progress Shot 5

I then started refining the background, adding colour, paint, extra depth with texture and 'scribbles' (ha ha, hilarious: adding depth with scribbles, sounds like such an oxymoron but it ain't no no! ;)). BTW, the writing style on the chest was also inspired by Tara Leaver and Samantha Kira, I love their swirly writing styles on their paintings. :) Wings on the shoulders are something many mixed media artists do, but I am very inspired by the amazing Misty Mawn on that one. :) Essential for me was the turquoise blue that I added around the bird at this point. I enjoy it in contrast with the black that I added in the corner too.

Progress shot 6:
Hello Love - Progress Shot 6

I then regretted having added the white to the left of her face, I wanted to go back to a darker colour there. I also wanted some more texture in there and of course: a crown on the bird's head! I like crowns, I just do, cus all of us, including animals are kings and queens, yep yep we are. :) So I added some bookpages and collaged them in. I really liked their effect in the chest section of the lady.

Progress shot 7 (final painting):
Hello Love (Hey Birdie)

For the final touch, I was not happy with the dark black on the left of her left shoulder, in earlier stages a lighter patch there worked better for me, so I used the magical titanium buff again and used a tissue to wipe it over the dark black, I then also used a 9b graphite pencil to do some more writing over the titanium buff for depth (more scribbles for depth, ha ha!). I also outlined the white 'love word' with some graphite and now pretty happy with the overall painting, although my favourite part of it is her chest with the words and the birdie face. :)

What do you think of this painting? :-)

Here are some details shots:

hello love - detail shot

hello love - detail shot

I love the wood grains!

hello love - detail shot

hello love - detail shot

This bit is my favourite. :)


  1. The depth you achieved with that heart is just achingly gorgeous, Tam!

    I Lurrrrrrrrrrrrrrve This!

  2. @effy: yay! thank you sweetness! :))) x

  3. Very nicely done! I wish for a video of you putting this together, although you did take a lot of photos and that is the next best thing. I love her eyes, big bold blue and beautiful! Her neck is fabulous and I just love the book text collaged in and the words. Your bird is adorable. He just looks huggable! Great job!

  4. @huntla1 : thanks so much! yes, i am hoping to do a video again soon! it's a much bigger undertaking though! :) x

  5. This is absolutely stunning! It is such a joy to see the process from start to finish... fabulous! The colors are wonderful (I can't seem to help myself with color either! hee hee)


  6. Wow Tam, I'm so flattered that anything I do might inspire you! That is so nice! Love this painting and really enjoyed seeing the process. Totally understand about colour too - no matter how I try I just can't seem to do muted! I love the wood grain too - where did you get the wood?x

  7. @clare: thank you! :)

    @kristin: thank you so much!! ha ha. it's hard to not include colour eh!

    @ tara: hey T! :) glad you like! yeppp i love your stuff totally! :) the wood I got from this big wholesale place in hove (i think it's travil perkin or something) if you want to know i can ask andy, he'll remember their name, it's cheap too! but the prob is you need to buy a big sheet, though they will cut it for you! i also got some cut offs for free! :)

  8. I love seeing your process because I often get stuck on the "ugly". I know you've told us to work through the ugly, but sometimes it's a lot of ugly to wade through. lol I love her & I love all of the color in her face & the depth of the background. So glad you posted this because I'm working on a painting for my friend & was just wondering where in the world I'm going to go from this point. I'm just going to start with more paint & see what happens. Thanks sweet girl!!


  9. Wow, she's amazing, love the depth, love the colors, love the whole piece! Thank you for showing progress photos, was fun watching it come alive!

  10. That is absolutely gorgeous! I LOVE the way the lines of the wood show through on her face. Thanks for showing the process. I always love to see how everyone else achieves their paintings! Love it, love it!

  11. I love it! It's SO beautiful. I also love the woodgrain and am inspired to do a painting on wood by seeing what you've done. I love seeing the progress shots. It's so interesting to me how a painting starts out and where it goes. I've started to take progress shots before but then I get so into the painting I forget all about it :) Thank you for always inspiring me!

  12. Hello Tam,
    This is a wonderful piece and I just love to watch the process at Tara's and now here too. Thanks for sharing it.
    Lesley x

  13. it's beautiful Tam. i love how the wood grain shows too. i just Love painting on wood :D

  14. Hi Tam! Always love your paintings! Thank you for the progress shots and explaining your thinking process. It's really really helpful. Have you decided what you're gonna do with this one? keep it or sell it?

  15. Oh how beautiful, the wood grains, all the progress shots were awesome. You are so cool to share your thought while the work is in progress. I adore her & the bird too, I just love it. Thank you so much for sharing this, & for the inspiration.

  16. I love your works on wood! They have such gorgeous depth in the colours. I really like the composition in this one, and the happy vibe I get from it. The woman has a gentle strength, and seems to say to me: "I am free. I am self-assured, but I am humble. I am content. I hum the ancient songs the flowers sing. I have seen many places. I have much kindness to share." The giant floating bird reminds me a bit of Chagal... only cuter and prettier.

  17. Oh Tam.. this is just beautiful. Hope you're feeling well.

  18. You do such awesome art! I hope I can afford to take your fabulous faces course and the magical mythical makings. I have heard good things about those!

  19. Tam, I love this!! She is so beautiful!! It was great to see your process of creating it! Love the wood grain showing through too. And I agree with Effy . . . . that heart!!! AMAZING!!

    I am really enjoying your Collage Paint and Soul!! Love your work!! xoxo

  20. She's Purrrrfect! I love the texture and depth of this painting. It's amazing Tam! Just beautiful! I have a new favorite now. Hugs, Jessi xox

  21. Thanks for sharing - she's beautiful - I especially l♥ve the ring of flowers in her hair.

  22. Awesome job, woow, love it very very much:) Great work!!! Big hugs :)

  23. Absolutely gorgeous! And hello birdy, you are soooo cute! ♥

  24. So prettyy!! You inspire me! I really want to do art but I just can't find the time! I managed to do a sketch in my art journal two weeks ago I think but haven't had time to progress it yet.

    I love your paintings on wood by the way!

  25. Gorgeous piece!! LOVE all the layers and details. And I love the progress shots!


  26. That is absolutely perfect i like all your work!

  27. love, love, love, this.....the wood, elements in the painting, and colors are fabulous....


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