The Guardian

This painting was created for Pregnancy Resourse Services in Silverdale, WA for a benefit auction. This was a directly commissioned piece; something I was asked to do. I was given a verbal description of what they were looking for, and the rest was up to me.

I didn’t do many preliminary concepts; I developed one and went from there. Since the painting was proffered to the organization it was my choice as to layout.

Here is the basic concept quickly sketched out in my sketchbook:

Guardian concept sketch

After a few stages of thinking and reworking I have a refined drawing enlarged onto tracing paper. From there it was transferred onto 4-ply Strathmore:

Transfer to Strathmore paper

After the frisket paper is applied, I cut away to reveal part of the drawing, then begin to paint the background areas. At this point I’m using transparent watercolor. Gouache is added on top for depth and opacity.

Stage 1 in transparent watercolor

I decide to complete the angel first, before tackling the couple. I cut away frisket leaving only the couple covered. I don’t always work with frisket, but in this case I needed to do some work on the background and angel without affecting the couple.

Stage 2 completed.

The couple is now laid in. At this point I’m using both watercolor and gouache.

The finished work prior to releasing it from the board. I’ve worked colored pencil in to add detail, color subtlety and texture. I’ve accented and darkened certain areas with gouache and colored pencil to add greater value contrast. Overall, I wanted to achieve the effect of the image glowing with light from within.

All images in this post are © Alvalyn Lundgren. All rights reserved.

Alvalyn Lundgren

Alvalyn Lundgren is the founder and design director at Alvalyn Creative, an independent practice near Thousand Oaks, California. She creates visual branding, publications and books for business, entrepreneurs and authors. She is the creator of Freelance Road Trip — a business roadmap program for creative freelancers. Contact her for your visual branding, graphic and digital design needs. Join her on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and subscribe to her free monthly newsletter.

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