Saturday, June 11, 2016

Virtual Paintout 27: Ducking in to visit Maine, USA!

Last month in June the Virtual Paintout gang went to Maine, USA. What a gorgeous state! 

As my habit has been lately, I kept my eye out for an animal to paint. Say what?? Not one animal to be found along Route 1 in Maine. 

But then... aha!! I spied this Duck in the window of the Siren Song Tattoo Parlor, in Rockland, Maine. A duck! How cool.

Here is the original location. See my little duck on the very left?

I had blast researching tattoos from the Old School, traditional American tattoo styles. Being a coastal town, I wanted to make my design fit the theme. Hence the lighthouse, compass, waves, roses, anchor, North Star symbols, etc. Those were all tattoos used in Old School tattoos from years ago. And I left some of the birch wood showing, and gave the painting a weathered "old" look, as though exposed to the salty sea air.

First some quick thumbnail sketches I did to try out some ideas:
(can click on any pics to enlarge)

After drawing out my final design and putting it onto the wood, 
I lined it using an acrylic paint pen:

Ack!! The paint pen smeared when I went to seal it. 
Don't know what happened; used this same technique last painting.

I stuck with it, and started the underpainting:

Here it is with the value underpainting:

And finally, it's finished. First here are the sides, 
which each have their own little motif going on:

And the finished painting "Siren Song... aka Ducking In For A Tattoo"

"Siren Song aka Ducking In For A Tattoo"
8 x 8 x 1 5/8 acrylic on
cradled birch wood

Hope you enjoyed this adventure from Maine!


PS: As always, anyone is welcome to join the Virtual Paintout. It's free, it's fun, and each month you can choose to participate or not, as your schedule allows. For this month of June, the destination is Napa Valley, California, USA. I have my spot all picked out! Join me??

Visit here for more details:


  1. This is beautiful and intricate work. I don't think I've seen work by anyone who considers every side of the canvas as you do. I absolutely love it and look forward to the next one. Our of curiosity only, how much would you charge for a custom piece (again, curiosity only and I understand if you want to save your quotes for a real client!). ~oct

    1. What a nice comment, thank you so much!
      About the pricing, on a theoretical custom piece, it would most likely be close to the pricing is these. They run around $150, so unless there was a ton of extra research, I would stay within the usual pricing structure. These really are fun to do, and the next one is already in the design stages, with a castle, an angel, a dragon, grape clusters and my favorite: a set of guarding gargoyles! :-D

    2. Ooh, your next one sounds wonderful! Can't wait to see it. I think your pricing is perfect. I charge about the same for my illustration work. Isn't it so fun to get lost in your work as you do it? It's pure joy.

    3. I agree, it's a wonderful "job" to have. :-)

  2. You're painting is so charming and beautiful. Mostly, I love how you get such stunning inspiration from something seemingly so ordinary.

    1. Aww, thanks so much, Mary. I love your comment!

  3. I think looking at somebody's artwork is a little peek into their mind.... You are amazing, Retta!

    I just might have to save for a commission one day :)

    1. So... you see ducks in my mind?? ha ha.
      Thanks, Angie, I appreciate your nice comment.