I am in the process of creating a painting inspired by the Norwegian faerytale 'Gullfuglen'. Isn't that a beautiful title?! It translates as 'the golden bird'. I have chosen to use the story as a springboard, using elements from the tale including a golden apple, a golden bird, a prince, a fox and a king's garden.
I began by sketching on a canvas, with the initial intention of drawing a feathered character holding a golden apple, and a fox observing. As the drawing progressed, the dress came into being, the female character became more human, and the fox became entwined with her. I added the crown, inspired by the mention of the king's garden, and the drawing started to speak to me of sovereignty, being the ruler of one's choices, and holding those choices with dignity and assuredness.
I imported the photograph of the canvas to my laptop and experimented with different colourways digitally. I was inspired by paintings seen at a gorgeous fairytale exhibition I went to in London years ago, 'The Age of Enchantment', where many of the images had a beautiful deep blue tint. At this stage the colouring is very rough, because the image is only intended to be a reference for the colours I will use on the canvas.
I am painting the final piece with water-based oils, working mainly in the middle of the day when my two year old Inigo is having his midday snooze, and a little in the evening as well if I don't conk out asleep at munchkin o'clock bedtime!
During the process so far I have encountered one main issue, which was that after drawing on the canvas, the fabric became very loose! However, it turned out to be an easy problem to solve, by spraying water on the back of the canvas, which became taut again when it dried. Apparently canvas can get looser in humid conditions, which we have now in Norway.
Here are a few sneak peeks of the canvas, brushes and palette in action:
Don't you just love paint-adorned palettes?! So tasty!! I aim to be finished with the piece within the next week, mainly working on slightly adjusting some colours, building up thin layers of paint, and adding in the finer details.
I also recently sold a print! To a lovely lady in Trondheim who has been wonderful to us in the last few months.