I spent four weeks working on this painting. It is my first piece of art, for the new year. The title is, Beach Baby, which I got from the 1970s song of the same name, by the band, First Class. I’m often inspired to create art from song titles or song lyrics. The inspiration for this painting actually comes from a photograph, in one of my school yearbooks. It’s towards the back, where the graduates have their ads containing their baby/childhood photographs, along with congratulatory messages. I’ve always thought it was a cute photograph, so, I decided to paint my own version.
The little girl in the photograph looks younger than the one I painted, although some children have mature features at a young age. I think she still looks like a young girl. The hair is piled high and spilling everywhere and her swimsuit top is twisted more to one side. It captures childhood, since children aren’t concerned with looking their best, when they’re at play. At least, I don’t think so. It’s fairly obvious that she’s more interested in exploring the beach.
I had difficulty with the skin tone. It took some time to correct the shading and to get a somewhat, tan appearance. It’s still not that great, but I felt I could only go so far. Her facial features are much better than what they were before. She doesn’t appear to look as if she’s wearing makeup. Now, the “big eyes” may look a bit enhanced. However, young children often have longer eyelashes and rosy cheeks, which seem to last for only a short period of time. It’s rather difficult to capture this, but the “big eye” style, somehow helps me to do so. Her head and lower body are a bit off, I think. It was not my intention to paint her exactly like the photograph, so, that meant I made some changes and did some guessing, along the way. Her arms in the painting are positioned differently, from those in the original photograph. I worked on this for a little while, but I just decided to leave it. Again, you can only go so far. The background is very similar to the one in my “Dime Store Doll” painting- somewhat abstract and simple. It wasn’t too difficult. The sea foam color suits both the title and subject matter.
I’m slowly, but surely developing a “big eye” style. There are a few things in this particular painting, which I’m happy about. The swimsuit top has the fluorescent color that most swimsuits have and the little decorative details- ruffles and polka dots are a nice touch. In other words, I think it looks like a swimsuit should look. Also, her hair has nice detail in it. It looks like a hairstyle a little girl would wear, to a beach. Maybe a little mature, but still cute.
This painting was done on a canvas that I purchased at an estate sale. It was brand new- unopened and all. What’s unusual about it, is that the size 8 x 10 is stamped across the top of it and it doesn’t look like the standard 8 x 10 size. I did add gesso to it because the texture was pretty rough. Plus, it didn’t say whether or not the canvas is pre-primed, on the wrapper.
It is done in acrylic and measures, 8 x 10 inches (or so, it says).