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Creating "My Lazarus Story"

I was asked to share my process for my last painting called "My Lazarus Story."

This is by no means a tutorial. It's just a story process. But all the steps are there, I think.

Here ya go:

Canvas: 3'x3' gallery wrap. (1.5"deep)

Medium: Acrylics, string gel, old sketch pad paper, vintage button, iridescent powders

•I sketched the bodice lightly with Unbleached White just to be sure of placement.

•I filled in the background and honestly, I'm not sure what colors I used because I was using up the paint on my palette. But it for sure included: Cad Yellow Med, Cad Yellow Light, Alizarin Crimson or Quinacridone Magenta, Yellow Ocre, Titanium White, Cad Red Med, Ultra Marine Blue, Phthalo Blue, Burnt Sienna and maybe (Veridian Green?)

I used a big old soft water color brush and just went for it, praying as I went along and listening to music. My playlists are on spotify under Lydia Davis Crouch. I usually just let it play random on their suggested daily play mix for me. I continually add artists I like so that my algorithm is pretty wonderful for me.

But seriously, I follow the music.

•I left it alone for a few days to figure out what to do to have a shiny bodice that wasn't diamond. I have a button fetish and raided some thrift store finds in my art closet. I laid the canvas flat and poured the buttons out on the bodice area to be sure I had enough.

I picked out the ones that didn't seem to fit. Then I set them aside and wondered what to adhere them with.

•In the meantime, I painted an underlayer that would most likely peek through, depending on how things went.

•I ended up trying string gel and was super happy with the result. I literally drizzled it onto my canvas in loose sections (like continents) and scooped the button up in my hands (wear surgical gloves) and dropped them onto the string gel.

(I considered placing them carefully, but I'm coming out of perfectionism and this dress is the summary of that. I let them land on their sides and at odd angles. The result of letting go is that the light catches it from every angle!)