Hello my sweet honey bunnies! :)
Today I decided to write about my newest journal, which I called in a very simple way "The Bunny Family Journal"( A5 size). It seems like that the story of my bunnie's love for each other continues....
This was a custom order from an older client lady. She has a son and him and his wife are expecting their second baby in the first weeks of August. It's going to be a boy!
So my client, as a very proud Grandmother, ordered this journal to give as a gift to her daughter in law. I thought this is so sweet and she particularly loved my bunny journals and so we developed this concept of a 4 member family having a little picnic in the park. She said they will end up living in Texas and so she wanted some flowers from that place to be shown on the journal too. That's why I places some Lupins and other flowers.
Ashley always tells me that I have to work on my background scenes more as sometimes my pieces look too flat and then one massive bulky character stands in the middle of it all.
So this time I decided to properly sculpt all of the background first. As it was a park picnic scene, I needed to have the picnic blanket laying on some grass and to make the scene more intimidating and give a feel of a park, I added some Hydrangea bushes and a beautiful large tree on the background. Kinda made the whole scene look more zoned out from the rest of the world. This is type of spaces I like for the picnic. Little pockets of privacy :)
First thing I always consider when making clay creatures, is their eyes. I believe that eyes is the mirror of the soul and most of my artworks are looking so alive because of the eyes. So I had to make them first. The whole family is blue-eyed in real life and so I had to stick to this hue.
Now.. I am quite ashamed to put the first appearance pictures of my Bunnies on this brown clay background, because I decided to sculpt all of their naked bodies first to see where she shapes go, how to position them and so on and then to dress them up in clothes. But because they were naked and very primitively shaped, this looked like a very awkward scene. So no, I am not showing it. We have under 18-teens here :)
But here is the shot from the moment when I dressed them up! And it looks very descent. I struggled with positioning the father bunny and it was quite hard to make mother bunny's arms holding the baby. So I used some human realistic shots for reference to understand where which part of the body goes. You might be surprised hearing this, but I am very bad at human proportions. I think sculpting
human body is the hardest thing of all.
So then I needed to understand how to blend the foreground and background together. I wasn't sure I will make it successfully with paints, so I decided to use my super set of eyeshadows which I love badly. It is, in my opinion, so much better than pastels. I just can't get hold of pastels still. But with these, they stick to your brush nicely, colours are very vibrant. You would always need to seal it after baking of course, otherwise some of the colour may still disappear.
Anyway, I ended up here and I was very pleased with how the colours looked like.
After adding up some details like flowers, more volume to the tree and picnic basket, I finally baked it! I knew that if I wash this in cold water to cool it off faster, the colours will fade, so I waited for it to cool naturally. After it cooled I started painting it with oil colours, first raw umber to enhance the outlines and small sculpted details, then other colours to make the grass brighter and so on. But I ended up messing it up a bit, because when I started rubbing off excess paint with wet whipes, the shadow also rubbed off. So next day I had to repaint it with acrylics. I regret that red flowers became much darker after the final painting was complete. I added some red colour, but still it wasn't as bright and vibrant as it was before baking. After all the paint was applied, I did a layer of antique gold in dry brushing technique to highlight the highest points of the journal surface and also did Guilders Paste patina effect over some places to add up more colour, definition and to brighten things up. I started to like the artwork so much more after that. It is always a big surprise what patina can do to your artwork.
So this is what I ended up with. Please enjoy and let me know what you think. I am welcoming technical suggestions on how I could improve this piece, or improve my sculpting, decorating and colouring techniques. Please, don't be shy. I would love some positive criticism!
My client really wanted the moto somewhere on the journal... "Life is Good" .. As this is something their Grandfather used to say and so this stuck as a family tradition. As I cherish family traditions a lot, I couldn't resist to agree and write it.
In any way,
Thanks for reading :)