Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Eiffel Tower

Another painting, another serious case of "What the hell did I get myself into"

I was asked to paint the Eiffel Tower coming off my stint of painting Disney hotels, when my confidence in painting buildings was at an all-time high. Evil....they caught me in a moment of weakness!

Sure, I said. No problem. What's one measly little tower compared to an entire Boardwalk at Disney World? Piece of cake.


Once I saw the picture they wanted me to do, I could feel the throbbing of a headache begin. I had been picturing a quaint little tower in the midst of trees and empty lawns (clearly I'm not up on my Parisian geography). How was I supposed to know that the dear Eiffel is surrounded by homes and churches and buildings all requiring my most favoritest of painting techniques, perspective. Blyyyeck. What have I gotten myself into? Why does everyone seem determined to get me to improve on my weakness?

Here's the picture I was given to paint.

Such an innocent and unassuming picture
And here's the picture after I photo-shopped it...

And that's when the heart palpitations started. Lots of black dots and undefined lines. Ooh goodie. Oh yeah, annnnnnnnd, they wanted it to be in shades of purple instead of blue, so I had to make sure I remembered that when I was mixing colors.

Here's how it turned out:

Wait, that's more aqua you say? Doesn't look like purple to you, or even a nice lavender? Crrrrrrrrrrrraaaaaaaaaap.....And I had been soooo happy with how the tower looked with the highlights. Back to the drawing board. Is it too early to start swearing?

Feeling happy...all curse words shelved

Now, all I have to do is the hard part. Nooooo problem.

It took me forever, FOREVER, to get the colors to blend smoothly for the background colors of the city/park. I think I went thru an entire bottle of blue and lilac paints. There has to be at least 5 layers on that side of the park alone.

Yup, painting the background for the other side didn't get any easier. My mom was visiting and when she'd walk by I would forbid her from even looking in it's direction. I think this is about the time I started cursing France and having a very colorful dialogue with myself about my newly discovered hatred for anything French.

But somehow, I got it together. Surprisingly, the black outlines for the buildings became the easiest, though tedious, part. And once again, I was shown that practice really does make perfect because I think this painting is even better than my Disney Hotel buildings.

Here's the final piece:
"Eiffel Tower" - 22" x 28" original acrylic painting on canvas 

I'm really happy with it, and can't wait to hear the recipient's reaction when she gets it on her birthday.

Next up, I'm in my first art show! This weekend I'll be featured in "Out of the Box", a show at the Doubting Thomas Art Gallery in Cleveland, OH. So excited! If you're in town, stop on by! I was also supposed to be running the Towpath Half Marathon, but thanks to our lovely congress, the Towpath is closed with all the rest of the National Parks. So, now I'll be shopping for snowshoes for the November 3rd rescheduled date. Yippee.


  1. Ooooh I love how this turned out! Also felt your stress as your walked us through the process. What a great birthday gift!
    Boo for Towpath. I'm thinking Flying Pig next year. : )