If you saw the cushions in my house or my washing hanging on the line, you'd probably notice that I really like burgundy and bright magenta colours. And you might have realised this from a few of the paintings among my collections.
Sometimes my love of colour is all that's needed to spark an idea. Earlier in the year, a good friend gave me a beautiful bunch of flowers. Among the lovely blooms were a few gorgeous magenta gerbera daisies. And there was no way I was going to miss the opportunity to translate that colour inspiration into paint.
Of course, if you're painting ballerinas, you kinda need a figure reference too. I don't like to work from photos unless I've taken them myself. This is particularly important for dancers because I find that I lose the sense of movement and expression if I'm working from a photograph. Instead, I work from my imagination, sketches and own body with a lil bit of help every now and then from my vintage artist mannequin.
I often set up a mini reference still life for myself like this one:
Luckily, I'm confident with ballet feet because my ballet teachers would all despair at Mannequin's sickle foot. However, Mannequin doesn't have much in the way of shoulders which is vexing because I find the shoulders hardest to get right and could do with a better model.
For this sort of project, timing is everything because the flower can easily wilt and fade while you're still waiting for layers to dry enough to add the details.
But what a joy to play with this colour palette of magenta petals and those golden flecks of pollen set against my absolute favourite colour. And so much fun to translate the flower's characteristics into other details for the tutu bodice and sleeves.
More pink creations coming soon, I'm definitely planning to keep exploring this colour range.
P.S. If you missed it, you might enjoy reading more about my flower tutu inspiration in an older post.