Mirror Mirror


Well-known member
I might as well look at a third Snow White themed painting as all three were done in a row. This painting, Mirror Mirror, is one of the paintings I documented best in progress. Once again, I did not begin with the Snow White theme in mind... and once more I began with the idea of two standing girls who might be best friends or sisters (or lovers?)


Once I had the pose locked in (or so I thought) I began work on the background. Everything is first primed with a matte acrylic Burnt Sienna/Tuscan Red mix.


I decided to not employ my usual black & white checkerboard and went with blue and white, instead thinking of using a predominantly blue color scheme. I next completed the triangle patterns before admitting that I really did not like the figures at all.:mad: So I painted out the figures completely:


This painting really evolved in an unusual manner for me. After completing the background I then painted out the figures... then I redrew the figures... but only the bottom half.:confused:


At that point rather than dropping the painting down lower and working on the top of the figures... which would make sense... I gridded off the patterns which I had painted out and then filled them in again.



Before fully rendering the legs in pastel I would paint over the red primer with that light tan ("Soft Suede"). After the background was complete in the lower part of the painting, I finally dropped it down lower and finished sketching in the figures and then the space around them. At this point, it was clear I was headed back to the Snow White theme.



I decided upon a theme of Snow White and the Queen perhaps after having buried the hatchet. Snow's a bit of a "bad girl" now... scantily dressed (if at all) and dragging on her cigarette while the Queen holds a hand mirror (or is it a paddle?) I decided to build upon the earlier painting of Flora and add a halo with flowers around Snow which would become thorns around the "Evil" Queen.


At this point (above) I've blocked in/primed Snow's face in acrylic prior to beginning work with pastel.

The two faces of Snow and the Queen came together quickly over a single weekend. Initially, Snow had a red ribbon in her hair... but I changed this to a softer peach/rose so as to not draw the eyes away from the faces and also as a visual rhyme with the peach/rose-colored oval shape below.


The oval area was painted a peach/rose (rather than the initial almost hot pink). I first laid down a coat of blue-green similar to the colors used in the triangles. I then painted the peach/rose over top... and then sanded this to create a weathered surface akin to an old fresco. All of the colors are actually the result of layers of several different colors. At this point, I got rid of the blue checkers which harmonized with nothing and returned to black & white.


I ended up clothing Snow and the Queen in what might be lingerie... or swimwear for a day at the beach.



I was looking a lot at the time at the paintings of Danny Galeote who is heavily influenced by early-20th century art... including artists like George Tooker, Thomas Hart Benton, and Reginald Marsh.


I ended up "borrowing" the same single curl from my previous painting of Snow White




The Queen still had elements of "naughtiness" framed with the sharp thorns and holding her mirror/paddle while glancing with a slight grin at Snow.

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