Friday, June 29, 2007

Painting a Day - 4

Self Portrait
Oil on Shellacked Matt Board

I'm sad to report that mom will not be joining us today. So, I thought I'd do something a bit difficult... well, something my mom doesn't want to do at all. Whenever she's tired from work, I'll probably end up doing portraits. And as I'm the only willing subject... *sigh*

I've got to get better lighting. Bathroom, full frontal, crappy florescent, ugh! Best I could do though. At least without digging another mirror out of my closet. But, enough of the crap I had to go through to paint it.

I used a limited Zorn Palette: White, Yellow Ocher, Cad Red Med, and Lamp Black. It should be Ivory black but I keep picking up Lamp because I can never remember it's MARS and IVORY I need. So I have five tubes of Lamp and no Mars or Ivory. I'm a brilliant human being.

It looks just like me though. Asymmetrical features and all. I have just one highlight to correct and I think I'll do that now. *Goes and does it*

It looks better now. Wee. That highlight under the right eye... It's actually a highlight now. Yay!

*edit* Yeah, in all the excitement about the highlight, I forgot to explain some things. I painted this without my glasses on, which is why I'm not wearing them. So... it really helped me with putting down large value shapes and it's one of the reasons I'm so happy with it. I have also started working with my best friend Katy on writing and painting a day. She's writing, I'm painting, and we're trying to work together. One thing she wrote described this princess (Sleeping Beauty) that had just woken up. It was described perfectly so I thought I'd work on an expression. And as I'm the only model... faux shizzle. I was going for just woken up, having a bad day already, yet trying to at least act like a princess and not let everyone know I'm completely miserable. I think it turned out pretty well. I got the expression pretty much (I think I started with the mouth slightly open and I think it would have worked better... but... yeah) and it looks like me so I say, yay. I'll go get what Katy wrote and post it. *nods*


Title Troublesome: Behind the Times (frontrunner)

sleeping beauty Ella Enchanted style (not same universe)

I very nearly screamed.

It was not the quaint, romantic scene that most people seemed to believe in the days and years to come. For one thing, he’s just fought through a surprisingly dangerous hedge and killed the dragon then sprinted (though I would have walked) up several flights of stairs until he reached my bedchamber. He’s sweating like a pig, breathing hard, and there’s blood everywhere. He looks like he’s about to collapse on top of me any moment in exhaustion.

But he was still beautiful.

He’s too charming to admit that I wasn’t, but I know the truth. I’d been asleep for a hundred years, tossing and turning in nightmares occasionally, hair in knots it took me a week to fully work out, eyes bleary, and I wouldn’t have been surprised if he had keeled over from my morning breath. I had been struggling and running before I finally collapsed too.

He was also too charming to allow me to walk down the Tower. However exhausted he was from hacking into the Enchanted Castle and battling with a dragon, he picked me up and carried me down from the tower room where I had slept through the last century. Truthfully, I would have rather stretched my limbs a bit.

There was a particularly lovely moment on the way down when he nearly fell and sent us both tumbling down the stairs, saved only because he toppled into the wall, which caught him. Despite this brush with injury, we burst into the bright sunlight and I could barely see for almost ten minutes.

In the meantime, there was the ferocious smell of dead dragon mixing with the sickeningly sweet smell of what I would soon see were the two to three foot tall orange blossoms that over the years had tricked dozens of knights into approaching the hedge without fear. It was a truly revolting combination, and I felt the distinct need to barf. If he had put me down, I might have run behind a corner and done it, dignity be drowned. Just about everything else had happened to me at this point.

When I finally could make out the scene revealed in the relentlessly dazzling sunshine, I saw the last three familiar faces I would see from my old life.

Anna had tears in her eyes. Laura curtsied gracefully, having politely saved her greeting until she knew I was able to witness it. Rachel had simply gracefully extended her arms.

“Will you put me down, please?” I asked politely, surprised at how well my voice worked. I hoped that he wouldn’t be offended, but at that precise moment I could not bear to remain in the limping, painfully slow grip of even my gallant rescuer. The moment that he set me down, I took off and ran into the arms of the last three people I would know in my new world.

I suddenly felt old, beyond the sixteen years I looked, beyond even the hundred and sixteen years since my birth. It didn’t matter in that moment that I had been asleep and unaware of the past hundred years. I had experienced them, through dreams and nightmares so vivid that I could still remember details of the vast number I had accumulated in that time. As I greeted, after a night too long to measure, the three immortal (or nearly) fairies who had saved me and guided me a century ago, it suddenly came home that everyone else that I had ever known was gone.

It seems strange to think that it was what made me grateful to him more than saving me from my century-long enchanted sleep, fighting off a dragon and risking death, challenging the will of, I was soon to learn, an even more powerful than before mad fairy, being a gentleman and savior. In fact, it may well have been the only thing that kept me from hating him for waking me up from my long sleep, where at least the losses I had had were not fully real, and thrusting me into a new world I did not understand. My rescuer approached where I sat collapsed in sobs on the ground and gently put his arms around me, murmuring the nothings people always said to comfort the grieving in my ear. He did not ask why or for whom I was crying. His understanding meant more than his bravery.

After a long moment, I managed to compose myself. I turned to face my rescuer and gave him a long look. I brushed some matted hair out of my face, wiped the tears from my eyes, and stood to face him. He stood in front of me. I extended my hand. “Princess Audrea of Camarca, thank you for rescuing me.”

“Prince Charming of Mitica,” he replied, taking her hand gently and kissing it with the utmost delicacy. “Delighted.”

“Your heroism in coming to my aid has been truly remarkable and you have my eternal gratitude,” I added, straightening up and assuming a more refined, proper form of speech for a royal daughter.

Prince Charming shook his head at me. “And you were doing so well,” he said, pulling her toward him with the hand he had clasped. “Shall we endeavor to attempt a formal reenactment of said heroism?” he asked, adopting a playful imitation of her formal court speech.

Sweat and exhaustion or not, he had the most amazing bright blue eyes and his sandy blonde hair looked almost artfully disheveled. Prince or not, he was a handsome and very strong knight. And he had rescued me. “It was entirely my pleasure,” he whispered, barely an inch from my lips.

“Perhaps things are moving a little fast,” I protested.

Prince Charming moved away quickly. “I apologize, I suppose I will have to adjust to a more conservative courtship style.”

“And I will have to adjust to being considered conservative,” I replied with a small smile. I didn’t quite feel like laughing though.

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