In my office at my day job, there is big blank wall that annoys me. It is a yellow concrete wall with two hooks in it. For a about a year or so, I have wanted to make a painting for that annoying wall but hadn’t come up with an idea. At one point, I considered making two smaller paintings but it just didn’t sit right with me. I have also wanted to work on a large painting. Just recently, I came up with an idea.
One of the owners of the company I work for loves giraffes. There are giraffes all over the building, both small and large. There are also large giraffe decals on the front windows of the building and giraffes on all the company cars. You can’t go anywhere without seeing a giraffe. That made the theme of the painting much easier to decide.
The company also has specific colors that they use on all logos and advertising. I knew I wanted to incorporate those colors into the paintings. The giraffe in the logo has a yellow base, brown outline and red, green, orange, blue and light blue spots. It is an awesome little giraffe. That gave me my colors.
I started pricing supplies. I needed canvas, paint and tape. The canvas was going to be the most expensive piece. I needed a large canvas at least 36” wide. It was going to take me a while to get the money together to buy it. Then, I got lucky.
The girl in the office next to mine was cleaning out her office. She started piling trash outside her door to take to the dumpster. There was a canvas leaning up against the wall in that pile of trash. It was painted a pale yellow and looked like there was a saying started in pink marker. I talked to the girl and she gave me the canvas.
Now, pale yellow and pink are not hard to cover. Since I hadn’t bought my paints yet, I used some left over light yellow (just a little darker than the pale yellow) and painted over the canvas. This left me with a yellow canvas that I could just barely see the pink marker if I stared hard enough.
Then it was time to choose my paints. My best friend bought me a book on mixing paint colors a while back. I printed a copy of the company logo. I compared the colors on the giraffe logo to the sample colors in the book. That got a close enough match for me to know which colors I needed to buy.
My favorite paint is Winsor & Newton’s Galeria Acrylic Color. I bought a dark purple from them a few years ago and fell in love with the consistency and vibrancy of the color. Now, I didn’t have many W&N colors, so I needed to buy most of the ones I needed.
First, I checked prices at Michaels because that is right next to my house, but they were going to be almost $5.00 a tube. I had a 20% off coupon, but even then, it was going to be $3.99 a tube. So, I went searching…
Blick Art Materials (Affiliate Link) had W&N Galeria paint for $2.90 a 60ml tube, much cheaper than Michaels. I have bought from Dick Blick before, so I was confident buying from them. So, for less than $40.00 including shipping, I had my paints.
For the background, I wanted bold and bright. The giraffe in the logo has a yellow base, brown outline and red, green, orange, blue and light blue spots. I used the spot colors to make bold shapes separated by lines of the yellow base. It was simple to do. I used a technique that I used in my Crossing Lines series where I paint the whole canvas the line color. Then using painter’s tape, tape down the lines, leaving blocks of open space. Once the tape was down, each block was painted a different spot color.
After leaving the painting to fully dry, I pulled the tape up and it left the sharp, crisp lines in between the blocks.
This is what I have done so far. My plan is to paint a silhouette of a giraffe’s head and neck in the brown from the logo. I’ll show you that in part 2 once it is complete. Basically, I need to spend some time getting the drawing correct so that I can sketch it on the painting without messing up the background.
Let me know what you think of this project so far in the comments below.