Thursday, February 26, 2015

If You Want To Fly.....Quick Tutorial: Pretty Lady with Nesting Bird



"Bird Nest in Her Hair & Song in Her Heart" Copyright 2015
K Petruzzi of Happy Lark Art Studio
Acrylics, Watercolor, Ink


"If you want to fly, give up everything that weighs you down". I love birds, and bird nests....I also really love being in the state of happiness:::
I painted this sweet little lady as a reflection of my happiness and my minor obsession with bird nests:: (heehee)
I also wanted to post each layer or step of my artwork this time: some of you have asked do I draw first, or just paint? Many times I doodle. If I like the doodle, or it strikes my fancy, then I may paint it. This painting is done with watercolors and acrylics. I find that I do better with the mixture. 
Watercolors had bad juju from me: I thought NO way am I using those nasty things (too many watercolor failures maybe as a child:: I couldn't stand the colors getting all grubby from sharing these with other students:: grin)...but then as an adult, I bought REAL watercolors after taking a class from a friend. I didn't even LIKE watercolors: I didn't want to give them a chance: yet, they liked me...they work for me. Who knew? 
Layer 1: Rough Draft Doodle
Begin with an HB pencil, Watercolor paper. Draw a round face, and oval eyes. Remember in the middle should be room for another eye:: if you need, draw one "invisible" eye in the middle of the forehead, and then draw the other eyes on each side:: erase the middle eye. Your eyes are 1/4 down the face (hairline is the upper 1/4). Then go down halfway of the face:: this is where your nose rests. I always draw a circle, and then add small nostrils on each side. I keep it simple. On the last quarter, is your mouth. I like drawing a whimsical mouth: two ovals, and then square it off. Then draw your neck and hair as desired. I like wilder and more hair the better!!!!

Layer 2: Underpainting
This is where I rough in my darker tones, knock out my highlights, and pop in my pink shades. Don't worry too much about this as you will paint over it again.

Layer 3: 
Layer 3: Lighten Up and Block more In
This is where I use my gesso to "smooth" the layers out to a nicer flesh tone. I also lay down the basecoat for eyes, hair, and other details like the egg. I usually LOVE this layer and wish I could just finish here. Seriously, why shouldn't I? I don't know why but I always like this layer better than the finished!

Layer 4: Even It Out
This is where I pull all my tones, shadows, and highlights together on the face, and then block in more color (shading on eggs, leaves, and bird). I also add tonal shadows to the hair at this point.

Layer 5: Details
This is where I add my highlights to the hair, the bird, ink splotches to my eggs, and finally make myself finish and leave it alone.

If you would like to see an actual video tutorial, leave mea  comment and let me know.


I know that happiness can't always be. There will be times sad events occur, pain occurs, and unpleasant thoughts. However, I realized I can increase my joy by accepting things I can't change, and just giving up the things that weigh me down. For one is expectation::: if I don't expect others to act or say anything in particular, I will not be disappointed::
So what do you think? What will you release today? What heavy weight will you let go??

Lots of Artsy Love,
Kristal