Once upon a time there was an artist who painted just about anything and everything . . . except for collard greens. She was so happy with the commission of painting the beautiful dog’s portrait, the fact that “Lucy” was sitting in a collard green patch didn’t seem like a big deal at all.
As usual, she started by sketching the dog’s face and body then filling in the eyes and nose. She has always told everyone that if you get the eyes right, everything else is gravy.
Do they serve gravy on collard greens? ‘Cause I’m pretty sure I could paint a mean gravy background.
She continued on with the dog’s features, completely confident that the background would be so simple she could whack it out in an hour or so. *eyeroll*
Continuing with ‘Lucy’, grey was underpainted so the white on her face and chest would have dimension.
She was going to finish the white topcoating of Lucy’s tummy, but she knew she had to fill in the background before finishing Lucy’s portrait.
She originally planned to watercolor the collard greens. I mean, how hard could they be? So she googled . . . and googled . . . and googled. There were NO collard greens in watercolor and only a couple in oil or acrylic. sigh. Not much to go on, especially when you haven’t ever seen a collard green patch, not to mention a collard green. (I think my mother-in-law used kale for her ‘greens’ she cooked on holidays, but I could be wrong.)
In just that short minute she changed her mind from watercolors to gouache – opaque but water-based. Along the way she introduced herself to a Filbert brush, something she’d never used but seemed quite appropriate for the collard greens she’d never seen.
Um . . . strike one. Lucy looks like she’s been abandoned in some deep dark jungle.
So strike 1 was whited out, or pale greened out. Since she used gouache the white topcoat blended right in.
It took about 3 coats to get a white-white background.
She was so sure that watercolors would work she added the field above the horizon line.
Lucy was just in a lighter jungle, not in something indigenous to our southern states.
Another layer (or two) of white and we were ready for the final option: good ol’ acrylic craft paint.
This might not look like a major improvement, but wait . . .
As with painting any foliage, when the veins are painted the eyes now have interest and direction.
If you’re from the south, you might recognize these now as COLLARD GREENS!!! Painted with my trusty acrylics.
As for Lucy, her mama only wanted a few final touch ups.
We lightened her coat a bit, added blue sky and made her a bit more fluffy.
And now the painting is on it’s way to her mama in South Carolina.
I hope this post will encourage you to keep going when the unexpected happens. Because it always seems to. It’s only paint. Just keep going. Just paint it! hee hee