Little Me – Painting BIG

I have been working on a large acrylic painting of me as a child playing in the sand on the beach – here is the completed painting:

Little me on beach acrylic painting completed

I started my painting by covering a 20 x 30 inch illustration board with gesso.  After it dried, I sketched my image from an old photograph with vine charcoal:

Beginning sketch of me on beach

As part of the online class, “Year of the Spark,” Carla Sonheim instructed us to try sketching ourselves from a photograph in several different ways – one of them being eyes closed!  Eeek!

After choosing a favorite sketch, (with my eyes open), I started dry brushing Liquitex Heavy Body Acrylics by filling in sections of my painting with different colors.  Much like coloring as a child:

first layer of paint of me

I wasn’t really happy with the colors I chose, so I let my painting sit for about a week.

Yesterday, I decided to add some Golden Fluid acrylic paint with my 5 x 7 inch Gelli Plate.  Using my Gelli plate like a large stamp, I stamped colors and patterns over my painting:

gelli print added - better photo

I started liking my painting better.  I then added more layers of acrylics with a dry brush – adding details to little me and bringing a cohesive feeling to my background:

acrylic paintin of me - almost complete

I added the beach ball – even though it wasn’t in my photo!

I wasn’t almost done but after taking a photo of it, I realized I needed to ground myself in the painting.  So I added some rocks by stamping a sponge and bubble wrap in paint:

Little me on beach acrylic painting completed

I was happy to get it done.  I’m not sure it really looks like me:

old photo of me for painting

But that’s OK.  I learned that painting BIG is a lot of work!  Not sure it’s my thing.  Creating is a process of filtering out what I enjoy and don’t in art.  This one is definitely in the later category!  LOL!

Happy Creating!  🙂

6 responses to “Little Me – Painting BIG

  1. Oh I love it Jill! So much time and effort and thought and love went into it. It’s a beautiful work of heART! 😍

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I love the depth you are able to get into your work, Jill! All of the layers and color you use. I love the dreamy quality of the background in this. And what a nice journey to take, painting a picture of little you. So sweet! I don’t think I’m brave enough to go that large after my 1/4 sheet painting of the waves that weren’t waves. But I’m glad you stepped out and tried it, and I’m also glad you shared your process with us! I love that, I find it very helpful. And isn’t it nice to know what does and doesn’t work for us? I hope your weekend goes well and you have a bit of a chance to rest. Happy Saturday! 💛

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you Laura for your nice comments. And I agree, it is good to figure out what brings us joy in art! I was so happy to get this one done! Not sure what I’m going to do with it now… LOL! 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Wow, 20×30″ is HUGE! I’ve only printed my images 16×20″. I like both the abstract version and the final version of your painting. Oh, I really like the photograph of you too! That’s a treasure.


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