The Queen and the Elephant.  Acrylic on canvas.  This was commissioned by my little cousin, Sarah.  She has a high powered banking job and calls herself “The Queen”. Often someone will ask her how her day is and she would say, “like pushing an elephant up the stairs!”  With a new office, she wanted to have this illustrated and her best friends, cat and dog included. Well, this is a project that appeals to my editorial skills very much!  Oh Joy!

I started out by researching some staircases, and foyers. Queens and the animals. Putting them together is like a puzzle.

A little more detail here. I always try to layout the room or area to place the characters in first.

Once I have the drawing the way I want, I transfer it to the canvas. Computers make this a whole lot easier.  I actually have a projector where I trace my work.  Here I use a photo of the pup for reference.

Once I have solved all the problems in pencil, I do a burnt umber wash over the painting

Slowly I build up the color.  I block it out first, remembering the overall color scheme.  When I asked Sarah what her favorite color was, she said “color”!

So in that case, I throw out all the rules and color schemes and go for it!  So much fun Sarah!