The Art of Painting Two Sisters (on the Terrace)

   by Stacey May for Re-Invent a Work of Art (2013)

Inspiration Piece: Two Sisters (on the Terrace) / The Art of Painting

Inspiration Artist: Pierre-Auguste Renoir

There are so many little elements - that are further documented in my video, but in general:
I created the people with wire armatures and Chavant. As I'm not a sculptor - ever - I used pencil tips and erasers for shaping, Xacto knife, razor blade, a nail, a plastic palette knife, nails of various diameters for the flowers, my fingers, and the freezer... I also used my hot glue melting pot to melt the Chavant for the canvas skirt I made for the lady. The little girl's hair was made using rope and secured with the melted Chavant.

The terrace was made using my mini-tablesaw, a drill, glue, sawdust clay (sawdust/glue), wire (and a Sharpie to shape the "spokes"), and nearly all of the little plywood pieces as well as the larger piece. I used part of the box to create the brick wall and extension to the terrace (Renoir needed somewhere to setup)... ran some "bricks" off on my plotter (paint mask material), add some rust red and grey primers and I had a brick wall. I used the smaller block of wood for the far corner of the terrace (also brick embellished). Hot glue was used to make the vines as well as Sculpey III for the leaves and grapes.

The trees and barrel were created using "paper clay" (newspaper strips and glue) - the trees with wire armatures and the interior structure of the barrel with more cardboard from the box.
The background was created using the pre-made canvas, Sculpey III (for the bas-relief trees), and some quick airbrushing.

The kite was created to answer my own questions regarding the painting - what is the lady looking at and how do you keep a child still? Bribery, right? Anyway - I used the little plastic melty ball things to create the kite around a wire skeleton. I'd have the formal names for all of my supplies except I chopped up the instructions early on to use for my initial barrel - that one of my dogs later ate. "The dog ate my homework."

The chair was created out of one of the larger blocks of wood and was a challenge trying to figure out how to shape it. I had to slice a small amount off with the table saw - CAREFULLY - in order to get the block to fit under my scroll saw. Then - I pretty much used whatever tools I could to conquer the piece including a "versa-tool"-like cutting saw and a Dremel. I found out my jigsaw didn't work early on. The canvas material was used for accenting the chair as well as for the tablecloth and the painting that Renoir was working on... To render those - I heat pressed the canvas to some freezer paper and ran it through my inkjet printer.

The table top was scroll sawed out of a piece of the thin plywood while the other half was used for the "stretcher bars" in the painting and the palette. The rest was used for flooring and the terrace railings. The original table had legs made with a dowel rod but they became impractical when trying to position it close enough to my lady (and her skirt) so I swapped them out for the single stand design using a scrap piece remaining from resizing the back, smaller "brick" wall.

The floral foam was used to stuff the finished barrel before topping it with "dirt" (sawdust), as well as "space fillers" that were painted darker greens to beef up the background.

I had some left over paper clay so I made a couple birds that are hidden amongst the branches.
All in all - I think I used a little bit of everything and all of my plywood and glue (there's maybe a tablespoon left). The dowel rods didn't make the final cut and the bigger block of walnut was only used in staging - inside to prop up my canvas background and outside to position my canvas backdrop until I leveled it on my tree base (The tree behind the far, small brick wall is on floral foam to give it height and to provide a ledge to support the canvas).

Renoir's paint brush was Sculpey wrapped wire with rope bristels painted black then dipped in a latex paint to match the color I used along the edges. His canvas has strips of canvas adhered to the back and I used my Xacto knife to add the "staples" in paint.

I used acrylic airbrush paints, acrylic latex, grey/white/rust primers, walnut stain, artist pigments, and mineral spirits (clay smoothing). A little bit of clear poly for the paint daubs on the palette to keep them looking wet.

I kind of used whatever "tools" were within reach and made sense at the time. Nothing was purchased for this project, including paint purchased for this project- though it did give me an excuse to finally get my mini-tablesaw and hot glue melter pot out of its packaging.

I don't think I've been this engrossed in a project since completing classes for my MS in IT. Thank you for providing the challenge!!! I learned so much and was provided with the excuse to try new techniques that I never seem to make time for otherwise.