This is the last post on my latest art project based on the nursery rhyme “Sing a Song of Sixpence”. You can find the earlier posts here, here, and here. I hope you are ready for a lot of pictures! I tried to catch each step of the painting so you can see what I did. (If you feel impatient, just scroll to the end.) First up, preparation!
First I had a friend cut some hardboard/Masonite into a circle for me. I traced the Hex sign from the first post to get the circle shape and size that I wanted. I gathered advice on how to prepare the surface, and then sanded it a little bit and covered it in gesso. I also painted an X on the back in gesso to keep it from warping. (Thanks, Tanja!)
Once that was dry, I transferred my sketch onto the prepared board. You can see I did this before I colored in parts of my large sketch. I wanted you to get an idea of the process, even if things are a bit out of order.
I also made myself a little color key. Once I found the colors I liked in pencil, I tried to match them to paint colors. Because I don’t usually paint, I wanted to avoid having to mix colors in order to keep things consistent. I was pretty fortunate to find the colors I wanted fairly easily.
Here are the center circle and the second circle. The center is an imaginary sixpence. I took some elements from real sixpences to create the image. The second circle is the rye in the nursery rhyme. I liked blue as a background because it made me think of a blue sky over a rye field.
This was the beginning of the outer crown ring.
I liked the red jewels, but wasn’t sure about my second color. I knew I wanted two jewel colors, so I tested out the idea on my color key (several pictures above) before trying the green on the actual crown. I was happy with how they looked in the end.
Here it is before the final varnish. I got nervous at this point. What if the varnish somehow messed everything up? I would have to give the library a photo and say, “Well, here’s what you were supposed to get! Sorry!” Luckily, my vivid imagination doesn’t often play out in reality (Thank God! Do you know how many bridges would have collapsed just behind our car or how many medical emergencies I would have lived through?!)
Do you think it looks slightly convex? My husband and I think that every time we look at pictures, even though the surface is flat.
I sort of wish I had added up the hours that this took, but sometimes I’m glad I didn’t. It made my life very busy, but it was so great to be busy with something I loved. It made me excited to get up each morning. I haven’t always had that feeling, so it was a real gift. I hope the library and the kids there like it. I loved working on it.