These are the steps behind my circus painting, "balancing act"
Balancing act was created from a book on "how to be a banker,"
that is over 100 years old! I found the book in the recycle bin in bad repair.
The patina and softness of the pages spoke to me. The cast is a chicken, of course, on a unicycle,
a giraffe and the adorable elephant. I wonder if the elephant is
leaving by the balloons and just landing? Magical! Want to see how it turns out? Read on...
I started with a large wood panel canvas. I drew on a piece of tracing paper the shape of the big top.
Then I choose pages from the old banker book, used my lightbox to trace the shapes of each panel onto the old paper.
Then cut them out and used gel medium to put them on the canvas.
The fun part, applying the first layer of paint. As you can see it doesn't look like much at this point.
the next layer is the circus animals... a chicken on a unicycle.
A giraffe made out of a map from Africa.
My favorite is the sweet little elephant made from on old airmail note. Same process as above.
A bit of paint added to the balloons and animals. The foreground is still smeary.
The layering paint is the secret to give it the richness in the end.
More color and a little banner at the top. Inside the tent, behind the giraffe is funny... what to do?
This is the finish piece. Added a bit of white delicate lines with a gel pen for the banner and balloons.
More background paint and shadows on the tent,
which I wanted it to look almost tea stained... old worn tent.
Remember the inside of the tent... I made the dark brown fade out into the foreground. That's it!