Julie Akeman Art Blog
I wanted to post about how I did the work for my great LOTR painting. The bulk of the work was done three months in the summer. I was living at home with my parents as a single mom and I worked full time as a cashier, they liked to go to Washington state for vacation and they always took my daughter with them. So I had three or four months alone so I planned out one summer to do this big painting, three canvases which roughly cost me about $200 to bring together, including buying photo books of the movies so I can find the right picture to work from. Doing the canvases was lots of work considering I did not have canvas pliers but I did get those things stretched out pretty good, had callouses for a few weeks after that though. Priming them took about three days, prime, sand, prime, sand. Tedious but I liked the hard hands on work. When I started drawing on the canvases I used a grid, I used one of my drawing pencils instead of vine charcoal and regretted it. I wanted to get the fine lines in but I had to use extra paint layers to hide the lines. After doing this work I learned a few things that made my other paintings after that one a lot better. One is loosing up my need to be exact. In other words be a bit more impressionistic. The other thing I learned is being more symbolic with the color, or have the color match the feeling of the character which is why I did the background the way I did, with upsweeps of color and inline with the characters, Legolas has gold and green for his background which matches with the elvishness. The painting took me a year to complete because once my family came back home I didn't have time to work on it as much and I did a little bit of work when I can, mostly touch ups.