South Carolina Lowcountry Hand Painted Bread Box
My 11 year-old has always wanted a tire swing. However, the too tall trees in our front yard, and the need for a new drain field in the back yard, have prevented us from installing one. We were pleasantly surprised when someone hung a rope swing at the park in our neighborhood. My daughter looked so cute and happy on that swing. I took some pictures, then painted my version of her swinging with abandon and joy, on a bread box I bought from Goodwill. The result was a South Carolina Lowcountry Hand Painted Bread Box.
The trees, Spanish moss, and overgrown brush behind her are typical of the South Carolina Lowcountry. When I first moved here, in late November of 1981, I was taken aback by all the evergreen trees. There were hardly any leaves on the trees in my native East Tennessee. Although I wasn’t crazy about the pine trees, I loved the Live Oaks. The overhead arbors they form, and the Spanish moss that drips off of their branches, are gorgeous.
For some of my complicated acrylic works, I’ve decided to forego the tutorial, and highlight the artistic process instead.
Getting Ready to Paint
First of all, I needed a surface to paint. I don’t like painting on canvas. I prefer wood, terra cotta, and glass. I began by sanding the gloss sheen from the front piece of the bread box.
I used a 1″ sponge brush to paint the background with a mixture of blues and greens.
I traced the photogragh by placing a piece of paper over the picture on my phone, then outlining the main elements in ink. The main thing I needed was an accurate placement of the arms and legs.
I rubbed colored chalk on the back of the ink drawing, then traced it onto the bread box.
Painting the Focal Paint
Painting with acrylics is kind of like using crayons in a coloring book. You fill in the basic elements with a solid layer of color before adding detail. It usually takes several coats of paint.
Once I had the basic shapes, I experimented with the face and hair. I didn’t like the first version of her eyes, so I repainted them after finishing the background. There’s a version with her eyes closed (you can see it under “Painting the Details”) as well. The girls didn’t like that version at all, so I repainted the face again.
I love painting wild hair, but Stella had a pony tail that day. So, I used my artistic liberties to create a fantastic version of her hair. I painted a few versions before settling on the last one.
Painting the Details
The trees, underbrush, and Spanish moss were the fun part.
Sealing the Project
For the last step, after everything dried, I took it outside and sprayed it with some acrylic gloss spray. This step is important, because it gives the matte acrylics the bit of sheen they need, and protects and seals the artwork.
Now it’s time to put some bread in that South Carolina Lowcountry Hand Painted Bread Box!
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