Nana's birthday

Today is my mother-in-law's 65th birthday, so I decided to bite off more than I could chew and paint this piece for the occasion.
It'll get there tomorrow, but the important thing is that she'll get it in time for her birthday party. So she'll have the option of showing it to her guests.
I made paper mountains (and added a little skier)...
painted the background elements and then tackled painting over the kids' faces.

This is the technique Lisa Bebi taught at Artfest 2008. We're now Facebook friends -- imagine that! -- so I asked her which colors I should use for the skin tones. She recommended parchment as a softer white, plus several Golden acrylics: Indian Yellow Hue, Burnt Sienna, and Burnt Umber. For the parchment/white color, I used Warm White by Plaid/Folk Art, or Light Buttermilk by DecoArt/Americana.

Oh.My.God. I need so much more practice, but at least it's in the ballpark of what The Boy and TwoBoo look like.

Like I said in my last post, TwoBoo was a lot pinker than I expected, but the combo I discovered was pretty simple. I tinted Light Buttermilk (which is more yellow than the Warm White) with Quinacridone Red (which looks kind of hot pink or fuschia). The shadows on his face are Burnt Sienna, and his hair is Burnt Umber with a hint of Ultramarine Blue. The shadows on his hand are Burnt Umber.
But The Boy's skin? Jaysus, that was hard. He's darker in general... sun exposure as well as genetics. The highlight on his cheek and the shadows on his forehead and neck were easy (Warm White, Burnt Sienna). But the rest was so hard to pin down.
So I mixed Warm White with Indian Yellow Hue (a pumpkin yellow-orange) and Quin Red and came up with a sort of peach. Maybe there was some Burnt Sienna in there too; I think I did a couple of Burnt Sienna, then Warm White washes.

I would probably do something similar for either of my sisters-in-law, but my other in-laws would just nod and smile, really. My brother might like one, but it'd be a waste of time. He'd be pleased for a minute or two only because someone else got one.

The Husband thinks Nana will like it, but I wonder. She'll appreciate the effort for sure, but I'm not sure she'll like it for what it is. It may be too precious for her tastes. So Nana might bury this one somewhere too, but at least she'll dig it out whenever we come to visit.

EDIT, 5/29/09: Nana opened the package while I was on the phone with her... she pronounced the piece "darling."
Posted on May 28, 2009 and filed under "Artfest", "art supplies and tools", "mixed media", "personal art".