I signed up for another month of weekly painting classes at the senior center with the plan to create a set of small paintings for my boyfriend. Since he loves Africa, and music, and pops of bright color, I sketched out three joyful dancing, drum beating images (pictured to the left, with earliest drafts appearing higher).
As an experiment, I painted each of the blocks with metallic gold first. An artist told me she liked using metallic paints as a base coat to create a subtle luminescence, and I was eager to give it a try.
Sometimes, I laid colors that didn’t turn out (like the green-dappled background you see briefly to the left). But, the magic of acrylics is that you can simply keep layering colors until you love what you see. Gradually, color upon color, the images emerge.
Working with the drumming figure (pictured below), I found a lot of room for play as I worked through the background color in several short sittings late one Friday night (giving the paint a few minutes to dry between applications)… starting with a flat orange on metallic gold, adding too much yellow, layering more orange to soften the yellow, layering streaks of warm brown and magenta to help the drummer pop away from the background… trusting the paint and the process, enjoying the moments of creation.
With a few more touches, these paintings were ready to go.