“Creativity can be described as letting go of certainties. ” ~ Gail Sheehy, American author and journalist.

working from this photograph

There are so few certainties when I start each painting.

Doubts set in as I continue to work on a large canvas.  It will feature my granddaughter as ballerina and inspired by a grainy photograph as my inspiration.

The flowers I had “tested” on each side of the canvas have been removed. I consulted friends and subscribers. The consensus was almost unanimous so I painted over them.

Another uncertainty had to do with the background which couldn’t remain black even though it is very dark in the photograph.

A friend suggested that I examine some of Degas’ ballerinas for ideas. I found two of his paintings with interesting  backgrounds. On my palette, I added alizarin crimson, raw sienna, burnt umber, yellow ochre. Yes, I do think these colours work much better than stark black.

I still have a bit of adjusting to do on the background, but I am happier with the changes I have made.

the background on acrylic painting of ballerina

While the background dried, I returned to the ballerina.

Her face is partly shaded in the photo. The next steps will involve trying various skin tone recipes. The light on the ballerina is tricky. Her forehead and nose are in the light, but her neck and chest and the rest of her face are dark. Somehow, I have to find skin tones that will match the rest of her body and not be too far out of the colour range that we see on her arms and legs.

Rather than trying the recipes on canvas, this time I will use watercolour paper. I feel a lot of trial and error about to happen.

....And probably a few more uncertainties too!

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