Devil in the details

I must say, it is a really wonderful feeling to finish a tough piece. But then the interesting part is that a lot of work never truly feels finished. I recently completed a commission for a hamsa on a wood panel, and as I was adding the last bits of leafing to some of the details, it was hard to just... stop. Because a work of art will never be perfect in the artist's eyes, in my opinion. It would have been so easy to just keep smoothing the lines, deepening the opacity of the liquid leaf, adding adhesive and perfecting the metal leaf. 

But sometimes you just have to let go, and love the imperfections because they are a part of the larger work of art. 

The first obstacle of this piece was balancing the shape of the hamsa on the square board, and making my outlines as even as possible with the white acrylic paint. 

Okay, to be fair, it wasn't exactly difficult, strictly speaking... But it was certainly tedious. Perfecting the evenness of the lines, making sure the white was opaque enough to contrast with the background and yet watering down the paint enough to make smooth lines, taking care not to swipe over wet paint and smudge the lines I had already made, it was quite a project. 

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What's next? Detail work. I suppose this is kind of the fun part. My favorite tool is my compass, I love adding smooth and even circles to my work.

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And again, tedium. The black details are all done in acrylic paint because any other medium I tried seemed to bleed into the wood. 

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I started out thinking the center of the Palm and the top of the finger should be silver and gold, but later decided to keep continuity inside and outside of the circle and reversed them. 

 

And last, the final product:

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I used liquid leaf for the more subtle metallics and metal leaf for a few of the more standout details. 

I'm really happy with the final result, and I hope the piece has a happy home.