Last weekend a co-worker asked me to come paint a surprise for his daughter.
She would be turning three, and they planned to take her to a water park for the weekend. She loves The Lorax, so while
they're away I came in and painted some truffala trees and The Lorax in her
I was very excited for this
project. Dr. Seuss is one of my biggest artistic
influences - he was so unafraid to be zany and use lots of color. So, I brought my bucket and paints to Nora's room and got
Always start at the back when
you're painting. You can cover things up later but it's hard to add more to the
behind. This being the case I began with the tree trunks.
Then touch ups and fixes. Wet
(and even dry) acrylic can be "erased" with a clean, wet, rag. I reshaped most of these trees slightly.
I sketched my Lorax in pencil
first to make sure I got him just right.
Then, using one color at a time,
I filled in the trees and the Lorax. I wanted to minimize color switches as the sink was downstairs. This strategy limits trips and time spent washing brushes.
In the book the trees have yellow
trunks, but my co worker and his wife prefer the white trunks in the movie
version. I think the white is quite pretty. It reminds me of aspen trees, which
are ubiquitous in Colorado where I grew up.
Truffalas are easy to paint. Paint a line. Then paint a circle. Then pull off lots of tufts going in a spiral pattern.
I remembered to make one tree not
rotate the same direction as the others. Seuss did this in the book, the trees
don't all "spin" the same way.
Then the best part, outlining everything in black!
Black is so touchy. The paint I use is heavy body stuff from Liquitex, and it can come out too dry to make smooth ink-like lines. To get it to flow properly I used both water and a slow-dry acrylic medium.
The two act to thin the paint so it's easier to work with. It can be hard to get the ratio of paint to water and slow-dry just right. Sometimes the paint gets too thin or too thick, and you're always having to mix up more.
He has no pupils so he looks like the Lorax of the Damned. Had to wait for the whites to dry.
I sat on the floor to do the low bits. Here's the view looking up.
Here, looking decidedly less demonic:
My co-worker sent me this photo of the room all done up with the bed. It even matches the blanket!