She's one of many swimmers I've sketched lately, but I just loved her 'attitude,' so to speak.
So, out came the paper, Mod Podge, and paint, and I set to work bringing this little sketch to life.
I spend a lot of time picking the right papers to use in my art. The paper combinations might look random and haphazard, which in some cases it is, but in most cases, there's a lot of thought as to which patterns and colors I'll use. For example, in a travel themed piece of art, I might layer my canvas with maps and old travel adds, or I might add recipe pages for a food themed painting. In all of my paintings and illustrations I try to use general, but bold patterns that have stark, contrasting colors to base my canvases because I know that once the paint is layered on, only hints of these patterns will sneak through, so the bolder the pattern, the more likely it won't be completely obscured. Once the background is finished, I sketch out my subject and get to painting.
Then comes the fun part... dressing the subject.
I generally have an idea for a color, or a particular look I'm going for, and I pick out a bunch of papers that I think might work. If I'm painting a bird it would be the feathers, or a robot, his metal casing, but in this case, it was this girl's swimwear. I thought I wanted a navy blue swimsuit, so I picked several papers that fit the bill, along with a few other colors with classic patterns. I held each paper up to the painting and tried to imagine the finished piece. Once I narrowed the papers down to a shortlist, I cut out the suit in each color, laid them out, and photographed them. The cutting was through trial and error. I started big, and trimmed it down to fit. If I'm illustrating a piece that requires more intricate scissor work, I'll have a detailed sketch and trace the images on my paper before making the cut, but I thought I could eyeball this one.
I had to call in the jury to help me decide the winning suit...
Then it was glued down, sealed and given some extra details before the I called this reluctant swimmer finished.