Sunday, 24 February 2013

Latest venture

"The Mighty Jungle"

I've recently completed a new project, which was prompted after I'd made the Memory Box for my sister's 40th birthday in January. A friend of mine recommended me when someone asked her if she knew anyone who did memory/keepsake boxes for babies. Eve (the friend) immediately suggested me - and I'm really grateful to her for doing so. I think creative work is always much more interesting if it's varied and have always enjoyed the challenge of doing something a little bit different. As Eve had already created a set of 3 animal themed pieces of wall art for the new boy's bedroom, I used those as a starting point and we decided on a jungle theme for the box. I recorded the progress and sent photos to the client as I went along, so thought I'd share them with you, too.

After painting the box inside and out with a pastel/mint green, I began pencilling in the design. I knew that I wanted some grass all along the bottom edge of the box, and that I would be incorporating the 3 animals that Eve had on her canvases - it was just a case of deciding what else to include and where! This is the first photo that I sent to the client, with the lion painted and the other two animals just pencilled in.

Next, I added the elephant, and the sun. When I painted the sun, I also decided to add my well-established dots to the design and that gave me the inspiration to use the same idea in other areas.

Moving on to the turtle, and the fron tof the box is nearly complete - although I knew that the grass would not be painted on until much later, as I had more work to do on the rear of the box first! My initial sketch for the top of the box is shown here, which I made on an A5 pad early one morning - but I changed it slightly when I transferred the idea to the top as you can see from the next few photographs too.

I liked the effect of the raised dots of paint on the tree and snake, so I later added them to the giraffe spots as well and took this closer photo of it to show my client:

I didn't sketch out the design for the rear of the box, I just knew in my head what I wanted it to look like and drew straight onto the box - hoping I didn't make a mistake (pencil is sometimes hard to paint over!) and thankful that I didn't. I was a bit disappointed with the dots on the snake at the back (as can be seen in the second image) as there are two different colours, green and glittery pink - but the pink can only be seen when the light is reflecting on it.

The next job was to complete the grass all the way around the bottom of the box, then move onto something that my client asked but wasn't sure if I could fit it in - the name of the baby. I was more than happy to include this, and again, early one morning I had a go at designing the lettering on a note-pad - liked the idea of putting it inside a cloud and placing the image on the inside of the lid. I've kept my original pencil design, which I traced onto the box lid to ensure I kept the proportions.

Once I'd transferred the name, I painted the cloud in white, the letters in green and filled in everything with tiny dots of matching paint to emphasise the design.  You may be able to see the detail of this more in the second image I took.

Finally, I lined the inside base of the box with some funky foam, attached some protective pads to the base of the box and varnished it all.  I then took some photographs of the finished box alongside the 3 canvases that Eve made. Our client was over the moon with the package, as was her sister, the Mother of the newborn baby! I think they go together quite well and from feedback we've received so far, it looks like we may be producing some more together!

More of Eve's work can be seen on her Facebook page, Crafty Beggars and she is the organiser of the monthly UPMarket event at the Prospect Centre in Hull city centre, so will always be there with her range of children's wall art, cotton tote bags for children and adults, hand painted jute bags, as well as seasonal bags such as personalised Christmas sacks or Trick or Treat bags for Halloween! I've previously ordered a batch of cotton tote bags for members of Hull Musical Society - with our logo on the side and I can highly recommend her.

One thing I've learned, however, during the time it took me to paint this, is that I need to speed up if at all possible (or charge per side of the box) as I worked out a figure but didn't really think too much about how long it would take me to paint so much detail! I'm pleased with the end result and obviously very happy that our client was so pleased with it too - word of mouth is always a great way of gaining new work!

You can also see more of my other creations on my Facebook page, Arty Aitch. I am at the UPMarket event most months of this year also.

1 comment:

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