Tarot card #8

If I was anything near as difficult to raise, back in the day, as I was to paint, it's a wonder my mom didn't smother me with a pillow.
This is me, age about four. I still remember the photo session; we had just moved to California that summer or fall. Note the peasant-style embroidery on the blouse. Welcome to the 1970s, kids, AKA the year 2004.

Look at all the yellow in my skin. It looks pretty close to the undertone of Indian Yellow Hue. Should be pretty easy to paint. Ha!
You should see what landed in the garbage.

Finally, I tried "flesh" tone (that would be Caucasian flesh) and was astonished at how much yellow there was in that peachy color. Indian Yellow Hue mixed with it right away was a disaster. (See exhibit A: lower right attempt.)

What I needed was to layer the flesh tone with a mix of soft white, Indian Yellow Hue and Burnt Sienna. More like a smear of the other three colors. I guess the flesh tone acted like white layered under other acrylics: it creates a more opaque base for the other colors.The finished painted-over skin compared to the photo:
I couldn't live with what I think of as Seventies Red (too orangey), so I went for a reddish purple overlaid with Interference Violet.
All this effort was for The Pretty Baby tarot card. I was thinking of times when I've felt like I could do no wrong, that everything about me was as it was supposed to be. At first, I thought of the typical princess images, including me in my wedding dress.
But then I remembered feeling that way as a kid when I went swimming. (And I used to luuuuuuuuuuv "Man from Atlantis." Come on -- you know you tried to swim like that at least once as a kid.) Putting my head on a fish looked weird, and not in a good way. Hence the mermaid.
Posted on August 28, 2009 and filed under "personal art".