My first thought was to do a gold fleur de lis pattern, but one of the few painted examples of Gwen has one, and I wanted to do something a bit different. A friend suggested doing a damask to really challenge my abilities and learn more, but as the original gold would’ve been way too busy, she suggested a tone-on-tone damask.
I then spent some time watching Jessica Rich’s and Marike Reimer’s DVDs on the subject of freehand and decided to go with Jessica’s somewhat chaotic ‘swirlies and dots’ style, as it suits the heavy folds the best, I think.
I did a quick test with a Bones mini, base coat, shadow, highlight; then a glaze of mid to fake it like I actually spent any time to get gradients. I used this to test colors, consistency and styles…not to mention sneaking in some practice swirly dotting before completely messing up Gwen!
I spent almost an hour and a half getting Gwen’s pattern started using two initial tones, True Blue in the darker areas and Sky Blue in the mids. Probably another couple hours getting the base patterns lain in, and then all the detail work starts. Whew! I see why not a lot of people bother with this technique, hah. Very time-intensive!
Later I get to do it all over again over the gold interior!
I agree with something Jess says on her DVD, it’s a very zen technique. Even though it takes a long time, it doesn’t feel like any time is passing, just getting lost in the technique. Very cool and I recommend trying it once your brush control is up to it (or be like me and use it to hone said control!).