“Fairlight and Caledonia” Acrylic, collage on canvas 24×36 inches
I’ve been working on this painting for the last couple of months. I had a very difficult time trying to photograph this painting – so what you see is either over exposed or underexposed.
The camera seemed confused by the brown tones.
I tried to make it look like a sepia tint photograph – but I had some trouble with the skin tones. Every time I tried to gray them or sepia them, they ended up looking like they had dirty faces – which may have added some authenticity, but it just didn’t look right in the painting. I’m sharing several details of the subject matter because of the difficulty in getting a good photograph of the painting. Also I thought it might be fun to see the very beginning of the painting and how it evolved.
This is the first sketch after I glued some pieces of paper to the canvas.
This canvas was very rough – I really didn’t like it but it was all I had and I wanted to begin the painting. I bought this canvas at “Cheap Joes” online. It was a good price, and if you like that rough texture it would be fine. I had some trouble getting the skin tones because of the pieces of paper I collaged, and the roughness of the canvas, all in the same face. The photo above shows the canvas after a few coats of gesso.
Laying out the underpainting with gouache. You can see some of the papers I used for collage. I think most of them were completely covered with paint. There is a mocking bird between the two girls at the top of the painting, an old book page on the left top, and some kind of railroad ticket at the hemline of the girl on the right.
Painting hands is really hard for me – no matter how much I practice I really never get it quite right.
“Fairlight and Caledonia” Two little mountain girls c 1890 – 1900