Taratories Blog

Pretty as a Peacock

Recently I did a portrait of writer and stylist Lisa G of Evolution Vintage.  I was so inspired to paint this beauty wearing the stunning headpiece from The House of Kat Swank.  It had a very Art Nouveau feel to it, and to my surprise, after I painted this portrait, I found out that this headpiece was inspired was Alphonse Mucha (Art Nouveau painter from the early 1900's).  No wonder!

I started of by drawing out Lisa's face and laying some placement lines down for her headpiece.  I then placed my circular lines down where I felt they best framed her head forming my composition.  Then I laid down a wash of paint on her face to begin.


After that, I added colored pencil on top of her face and layered on top of the colored pencil with more paint.  I love me some mixed media :)

The beginning of the stellar headpiece and some intense pops of color.


The head piece was so intricate and so much fun to do!  I just love detail!  Again, I layered with the paint and colored pencil.  Her hair was just paint alone.  I loved adding the little gold details in her headpiece!  This is the photo I used for reference.

I used the hydrangeas in the background to start filling in the circle.  The color in the background really started to make her face pop out more into the foreground.  

I decided to cut the background up with my circular designs to form some interest.  Adding the baby blue sky helped to tie in the blue in her headpiece.

I did some gradiant layering on the blue with paint and pencil.  I also added a black background which also became part of her shirt and added a gold wash of paint on top of the black paint.  Then added more gold paint all over the place...you can never have enough gold!

Take note of the peacock sticking out of her headpiece.  This was the inspiration for the large peacock feather I added to the design.  I had sat at my easel forever trying to figure out what to do in the blue section and in the background.  Every design I was thinking of was so complicated and as soon as I thought of the peacock feather I ran downstairs to pluck one out of my husbands stash (which he uses for the flies he ties for flyfishing) and ran up to hold it up to my painting.  I had found the missing element!   As I held it next to the circle, it drooped to the right like this photo below following the natural curve of the circle.  Just as the circle framed her face, the peacock feather framed the circle.  It was the simple solution to my problem that was right before my eyes the whole time and it was a match made in heaven!  

Right away I got to work using my gold pencil to draw on the peacock feather.  I was almost shaking with excitement. I just LOVE it when things start to fall into place!  It was crazy because the blue, green, and pink shimmer on the peacock feather helped tie into the colors that were already on my painting.  Now there was unity, texture, movement, and glam... BAM!

I was so happy with how it turned out, and thankfully, so was Lisa!  She just featured me on her amazing blog, Evolution Revolution. Click here to read! And for more Mucha works go to https://www.artsy.net/artist/alphonse-mucha