Tuesday, June 12, 2018

“The Road Less Traveled”, Original Mixed Media Painting by Colorado Artist, Donna L. Martin

"The Road Less Traveled"

The finished piece!

I had been wanting to create an elephant in mixed media for quite a while.  I have been admiring Tracy Verdugo's work and I love the elephants that she creates, so that was the inspiration for this piece.  I was actually fortunate enough to be attend one of her workshops a couple of years ago...it was magical!  

This is how it started.  I gessoed a piece of 20 X 20 cradle board.  Then I added texture with molding paste and stencils.  I also added some molding paste to the elephant's trunk and head.  I had some textured paper that I love and decided to add some of that to her ears.  I then gessoed over the molding paste and the paper on her ears.

Here you can see I started adding some paint.  I used Golden's Quinacridone Nickel Azo Gold and Burnt Orange.  I'm all about the Turquoise lately, so I threw that in too.

Now for the scary part...starting on the elephant.  I had her sketched out and I started adding some paint.  I mixed Paynes Gray, White, and Anthraquinone Blue, and a little of the Turquoise to get a blue-gray color.  I wanted her to tie in with my background.  It needed more darks, so I added some Van Dyke Brown.

Here I started adding some of the Van Dyke Brown to the textured area in the middle.  I didn't want it to be one solid brown color, so I added some water to fade out some of the brown tones in the middle of the texture.

This part of the piece had me stumped for days and days.  I could not figure out what color to do the bottom of this piece.  It had such nice, nice texture from using the stencil and I didn't want to mess it up.  Finally, I gave in and told myself "who cares if I mess it up, I'm just doing what I like".  So, there again, I used Turquoise and smudged in some of the Anthraquinone Blue.

I had some gorgeous, gorgeous paper that tied into the colors behind my little elephant.  I tore out a border and added it directly under the brown textured border for a pop of color and to tie in with my background.

I also felt like the bottom of this needed to be distressed and not so "in your face" with the blues.  I took some alcohol ink and some of the Van Dyke brown and punched it in under the paper border.  Then I hit it with a spray bottle of water to make it run into the blue.  Fun!!  

So just when I think I'm done, done, my husband, who is an Engineer by the way, takes a look at her.  He points out that her head is too much of a globe shape and that her tusk was going in the wrong direction.  As much as I hate to admit it, he was totally right.  Had to make some slight changes, but here she is.  She is all finished and I LOVE HER!  The only thing left to do is finish her off with resin.

I titled this piece "The Road Less Traveled" because that's how I want to live my life.  I never want to be afraid to take risks and take chances...sort of what I did with this piece.  It can be scary for sure, but let go and see where it takes you. You may totally surprise yourself!

This piece is sold, but please feel free to contact me with any questions, comments.  I would love to hear from you!