I was asked by a dear friend to conjure up a piece as an anniversary gift for her and her husband. I was lucky enough to be one of the people invited to the wedding and it was absolutely beautiful! The theme was Dia de Los Muertos and was bright and colorful with flowers and streamers everywhere. The bar has a beautiful mural of “Starry Night” located on the outside patio wall. Her cake toppers and accents were dancing skeletons.
She messaged me asking me to help recreate that day in a wood burning piece to commemorate the 5 year anniversary and we chose a huge basswood piece as a base.
I began this one a bit differently. I usually sketch the base image out on paper then resize and transfer it to the wood. This one I began with sketching it directly on the wood.
However, I did draw out the focal piece on paper. I don’t like having extra lines mucking up the details.
From there I decided to add the color, carve out the details and then began to add the line work with wood burning.
I struggled with this piece for a while. It felt like I could never get the background quite right and I was at a loss for how to approach it. I ended up adding more carving detail in a few times and adjusting the painting as needed. I added some shadows for depth and glitter as high lights. It took me about a month of working on this piece to get it just right. It was one of the biggest pieces I’ve done and in a style that is slightly different (or felt different) than how I normally approach my pieces. Those types of challenges are always fun to tackle however as they tend to keep my mind working in new ways to come up with a solution. In the end, I was very happy with how this piece came out and was so honored to help this wonderful couple commemorate their special day.