I live in a free country because of the sacrifices made by so many others. A heartfelt thank you to them. This is for you. The original was painted as a gift for a friend who earned the Purple Heart in Vietnam.
This is a painting that is based on a beautiful photo taken by my friend, Don Hasemeyer. I started it months ago, and will finish it within the next week. This video shows finishing details added to the locomotives. Next, I'll paint the containers, which are distorted due to the heated exhaust coming from the locomotives. If you don't know Don, or haven't seen his photos, it's worth seeing his work on Instagram (dhasemeyer) and on Flickr. Great stuff, particularly if you enjoy trains.
I've painted this wagon several times before, but always with something inside. It is a small toy that Peggy's Mom received as a promotional item decades ago. Peggy has had it since she was in middle school. It looks great by itself, and brings back lots of memories of pulling kids in a much larger wagon, which now serves as a planter in our garden.
Again, I tried to use my airbrush to create shadows, but it didn't work. More practice is needed!
"Sophie the Giraffe" is a baby's toy that was originally made in 1961. It is one of the most common toys ever made. I got the idea to paint this from my good friend, Mimi, to honor April the Giraffe, who gave birth to a calf a couple of weeks ago. The birth was watched on camera by millions. Now we await the naming of the calf.
This painting challenged me in several ways. First, I tried using an airbrush for the first time. I placed a frisket (mask) over the pencil sketch, then cut out the frisket where I wanted to apply paint. I practiced a bit before painting on the actual panel, but I needed more practice! I did not succeed in feathering the paint like I had hoped. And, the paint was semi-gloss, which does not work with the flat colors of the subject. I painted over the airbrushing. But the frisket left edges, and those remained. I was unhappy with how dark the giraffe turned out, so I repainted it. In the process, I paid little attention to the shadows, which grew way to large! So, the backdrop was painted a third time! Three paintings in one! What a bargain!!!