But then I had an idea. One I had to act on.
My childhood memories of Christmas always involved the Nutcracker Ballet. I love painting ballet scenes; however, I usually paint them in the realism style. "What if", I said to myself, "I designed a simple 5x7 painting in a whimsical style..."
Out came the sketch book, and a Google image search for the ballet. I had the girl already dancing in my mind, but try as I might, I couldn't remember the details of the Nutcracker's jacket!
After transferring the sketch to my watercolor block, I realized that in order to keep the subjects looking fresh and clean, I needed a dark background. A Christmas tree would provide just the amount of contrast I had in mind. So I started with the tree, carefully painting around the subjects, alternating with intense Phthalo Blue and Ultramarine Turquoise. Then I added a light wash of manganese blue, brushing against the edge of the tree so the edges would bleed a little. While that wash was wet, I added Idanthrone Blue to the corners, to mimic stage lighting.
Out came a tube of Daniel Smith "Iridescent Sunstone" watercolour for trimming the tree. This paint has a lovely sheen to it, making it perfect for adding a bit of bling. The last step was to lift out some circles on the tree to reveal the turquoise underneath, sign it, and remove the masking tape from the edges of the painting.
I carefully designed this so that the paper can be folded to make a card, and then slip into a 5x7 frame. This way, the card is also the gift!
Buy Handmade Gifts this Christmas!