This is my niece playing cello. I took the photo a couple of summers ago at my brother’s house. I just love her long limbs and fingers. Playing the cello shows off those elegant fingers like nothing else. I’ve heard her complain that she hates to see how she was holding her hands on the cello even a few months ago because her positioning is improving. I can’t tell good positioning from bad, but I like the way her hands look. I hope she’ll forgive me for immortalizing her two year old cello technique.
I had intended this painting to be looser, more painterly, and less illustrative than it turned out. That seems to be a painting at the gallery problem. Given an audience I tend to tighten up and draw with the brush. The First Quilt is another tight painting resulting from painting at the gallery. I need to pick my gallery subjects carefully.
But, it’s not a bad little painting. It’s just not what I intended. I do like the way her face and limbs pop out against dark background. I will probably try a much freer version this afternoon.
I used cadmium yellow and quinacridone deep red rose as a foundation for her skin. Other than that I stuck to a three paint palette of burnt sienna, phthalo blue and cobalt blue. I didn’t include a yellow at all. I like the color scheme and will probably keep it in the next version.
I created her appearing and disappearing necklace by first masking it and then removing the mask when the shirt was about half finished. I like the effect.