Painting Behind the Scenes: Partners in Crime


 
"Do you know what I’ve been thinking, Tommy?”
“It’s impossible to say,” replied her husband. 
“You think of so many things, and you think of them all at once."
"I think it's time we went dancing again."

- Agatha Christie, Partners in Crime

 
 

I thought it would be fun to share a few of the behind-the-scenes processes for my illustration titled "Partners in Crime"Inspired by Agatha Christie's detective duo, Tommy and Tuppence, I knew this piece HAD to include a bit of glitter, flair and fashion for Tuppence's sake! πŸ˜„

 Before beginning any sketches I knew I had to choose the perfect dress for Tuppence! I began browsing through numerous fashion illustrations for evening gowns from the 1920s, and came across the dress above. The website I found the illustration from gave the following description:

"This is a fabulous Art Deco fashion plate from a collection called “La Grande Couture” published in France in the late 1920’s. It showcases the latest of chic modernist fashion of the Art Deco period designed for the sophisticated modern woman."

I could practically hear Tuppence crying out, "That's me! Modern . . . Sophisticated . . . Fashion . . . And make it in red, please!" So, naturally, I complied with her wishes. πŸ˜‰

 Once Tuppence's dress was finished, it was time to figure out what exactly I was going to do with the background. I played around with a few small thumbnails, and decided that I wanted to have an evening sky filled with fireworks and the London skyline . . . I'm not exactly sure why there are fireworks in the sky on this particular evening. Maybe it's Guy Fawkes Night . . . or maybe T&T's passionate love has lit up the sky. 
 πŸ’ƒπŸ•Ί

Next, I had to decide how I was going to paint the fireworks . . . 

 
I tried two different techniques:

First, I painted loose firework-colored splotches in watercolors and then filled in around them with night sky. I did this pretty quickly, because I just wanted to get a feel for how long that would take, and to help me decide if it was the style I wanted to use for this piece. The fireworks ended up a bit looser than what I wanted for this particular illustration, so I moved on to a second study.


For my second study I painted the sky first with navy blue watercolors. I let that dry completely, then I added the fireworks in white acrylics with a dry, round brush. After the acrylic paint dried, I lightly painted over the white with just a bit of yellow and orange watercolors and was very happy with the results!


After laying down the starry reflections on the surface of the River Thames,
all that was left was to fill in those arches!



Once the color and shadows had been added to the columns, it was time to have some fun wrapping them in rows of twinkling fairy lights!

They ended up being such a fun way to finish off this piece and I think Tuppence would have heartily approved of their sparkle and shine. πŸ˜πŸ’•
🌟


 This illustration is available to purchase as an art print in our Etsy shop HERE.

 

 

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