I headed to my favorite idea shop- Etsy- and found a woman who painted all of these whimsical paintings of girls and mermaids and trees and water. They were great and just what I was going for, skill-level wise. I sent the link to my sister-in-law and Gabi picked out a favorite.
So a few weeks ago on a weeknight, I head over there and using just plain blue paint and a circular sponge, I put up the blue background pretty quickly. The kids practice making waves and painting grass and we call it a night. These first few pics are from my cell phone so they're a little blurry
That next Saturday, I fill out the 3 hills first. Oh, and my genius sister-in-law came up with the idea of using chalk to sketch it out before I paint. Brilliant. That idea saved me so much re-painting time. With the hills, I was careful so that they ended up looking like 3 hills instead of a wavy mound of grass.
Gabi and Jett help to paint in the ocean and I sketch out the rest of the waves and then go back and paint them in.
At this point I have added some details to the dress and started the castle in the pocket. The crown, hair, and cape all need a little more depth added. Oh, and she needs a face.
I add in the flower and swirl detail to the dress and give the hair some texture by using some lighter brown paint and some gold around the curls to make it a little shimmery. I need to put another layer of color on the face and draw it in. I'm just stalling up to this point.
I finish up the crown, add a realistic skin tone to the face and hands, and after sketching it out with chalk at least 3 times, I get the basics of the face complete.
Ah, it's done! Well, not completely, but the fact that she has 2 eyes that don't look like they were drawn by Picasso, I'm happy. I have to add in cheek color, finish up the eyes, and the nose was a little smudgy but I don't care- the hard part is over. I still have to outline the hands and feet and then she'll be done. The next step will be the tree, which I'm really looking forward to. I think it'll look so cool with the heart leaves. Until then, this is where we are at: