Hi everyone, I am excited to write another blog post today! I’ve been thinking about what to write for this last week when looking at the calendar, and I realized that January 16th, is Martin Luther King Jr Day. The first thing that comes to mind is Reverend King’s I have a dream speech. I took the time to read the entire speech, something I haven’t done since 5th or 6th grade. If you’re interested to read the transcript here is a link: https://www.npr.org/2010/01/18/122701268/i-have-a-dream-speech-in-its-entirety.
While rereading Reverend King’s speech, it made me ponder the state of our nation and the chaos that has ensued over the last few years. I am a white woman, so I won’t pretend to completely understand the struggles my peers of other races go through on a daily basis. However, I try to listen to them and amplify their voices by sharing their stories. I will always fight for the rights of others. With these thoughts in mind, I wanted to paint a portrait of Reverend King after this speech, which empowered the people who heard it firsthand.
I sketched, inked, painted then reinked the portrait of Dr. King. I also did a small background with light colors. While the top of Dr. King’s hair blurs into the background, I can fix this with the halos and silver outline I will paint.I then take the silver glitter white paint from The Smiling Hippo, and I take a small thin round brush and soak the bristles then twirl it in the paint. I coat the brush in paint - so much so that the bristles now look white instead of brown. I then paint an outline around Dr. King about a centimeter or two thick. The first layer of paint is opaque, so I put down a second layer to make it shimmer a little more.
I then use the yellow gold in the flower pallet, I put a glob of water on top of the paint and then swirl it with my brush so the color will stick easier to my brush. I then paint a rectangular shape that’s slanted forming at the base of Dr. King’s head above the alcohol pen. I then repeat this step and do five more rectangular shapes forming off of Dr. King’s head. I add multiple layers of this gold to brighten it and give it more of a sunray feel.
I then use the light gold color in the circle pallet, following the steps above, and painted in between the bright gold rays, to give it a more textured sunray feel. Once the paint dries I outline the silver shimmer around Dr. King with my alcohol pen.
I then paint a grey layer in the bottom left corner. I then take the brown shiny paint and put a small water blob on top then mix it with the paint, then slowly dip my brush in and write/paint a small quote from Dr. King from the I have a dream speech. I write this in small letters, to keep this simple and not take away from the portrait itself.
I love how the glitter enhanced the painting and elevated the final product. If you have a moment after reading this, to read Dr. King’s speech please do so, and remember to be kind to others, and listen to their stories. Until the next post, stay safe and be kind to one another!