I have finally finished my “newest” painting. It has taken me, much longer to complete- at least 3 months, in comparison to my other three. This is because I had a family situation, which I had to take care of, quite quickly, before I could return to my art. You may remember my “Father’s Day” post, stating that I have lost my father. So, with that being said, I haven’t had a lot of creative energy lately. However, I have regained it and I’m doing fine. Thanks for understanding.
This is the fourth and final painting, in the small series, which I’ve been working on, since late last year. Each painting, depicts a young girl, at a different stage in her life. They are all painted in a rather, different style, so, I don’t know if they could be considered cohesive. I’m not so sure, I was successful, in that matter. I do think they all tell a story to a degree, and are pleasing to the eye.
It is called, Picture Day. It is pretty self-explanatory, I think. I “pictured (yes, literally),” an elementary school age little girl, preferably, 7 or 8 years old, posing for her school/yearbook photo. I thought about my own school pictures and browsed the internet, for some ideas. After that, I decided she should have that “awkward, but cute” look, in this painting/illustration. I had had an idea of a little girl, who has decided to “dress herself” for this “special” day, wearing an oversized sweatshirt with a graphic design, across the front and high, crimped pigtails, adorned with lavender, yarn hair ribbons. This is probably the way I would have dressed, for one of my school pictures.
In order to achieve the “awkward” look, I added a few, subtle things. One, being the gaps in between her teeth, as she grins for the camera. After all, how many of us as kids, flashed a “fake” smile, when our parents or photographer said, “smile” or “say cheese?” Kids do it, to this day. For another one, I have one crimped, pigtail slightly higher, than the other, and the yarn ribbons are a bit scattered. She has beautiful, titian-colored, if not, “carrot-top” red hair, which makes her all the more, “impish.” She doesn’t necessarily fall under the “Big Eye” style, though. This painting/illustration I would say, is just “kitsch,” above everything else. She’s the epitome of a kid on “Picture Day,” at school.
The “over sized sweatshirt” was inspired by one of my own, which I had, in the second grade. The graphic featured a Norfin girl “Troll” character, wearing cool, “party” clothes, almost in a “Hip Hop” style and it said things like, “Celebrate,” “Party,” etc., across the front. The Norfin “Trolls” were featured on a lot of merchandise and clothing, back in the early 1990s. There were also the actual “Troll” dolls, as well. I still have most of mine. Another inspiration comes from an adorable outfit, which Mary Kate and Ashley Olsens’ character, “Michelle Tanner,” wore on the sitcom, “Full House.” The graphic of that top, features, a “little dancing girl,” which bears a strong resemblance, to one of the 1980s “Hugga Bunch” characters. I don’t know if that was the intention, but I noticed it, right away, when I saw a rerun of the episode. I always thought “Michelle Tanner” had the cutest clothing, on the show. I borrowed this same graphic, and drew it, on another little girl’s top, which I illustrated in the Summer of 2011. You can find it under the category, 2011 Summer Drawings and it’s the third drawing, featured in the slideshow.
It was difficult trying to “merge” both characters/graphics together, but I managed. I borrowed design/composition ideas, from each one, in order to create my own. Then, I chose my own words/phrases to paint around, my character. I feel I did fairly well. Trying to paint the “splotchy” technique around the graphic was a little challenging, so I had to suggest it. This seems to have been a popular clothing design, in the early 1990s. I remember seeing it, a lot.
Now, the background was fairly easy. As we all know, most school pictures have that “blue” shade, with a hint of “cloudy white,” in every which way, for the backdrop. It’s just so generic and yes, a bit “cheesy,” and I think I was able to do a decent job of portraying this. The only difficult part, was painting around her “crimped” hair, since she has a lot of it. Her hair looks like a cross between “Raggedy Ann” and the character, “Fancy Nancy” from the popular books, by Jane O’Connor.
Once I started working on this painting again, everything came together. I definitely think it has the “1990s” look, with her choice of clothing and just, well, the overall look. I don’t have any other way, of saying it. Hopefully, she doesn’t look like a ventriloquist dummy, due to her stiff posture. However, kids tend to look this way, in their school pictures or in other photos, for that matter. I feel as though, it’s accurate.
This painting is done in acrylic and measures, 11 x 14 inches.