January 10, 2016

You’re Gonna Come With Us – Day 6 Challenge Painting

Day 6 of 30 Days 30 Paintings actually leaked over into day 9. I’m nearly on track with the number of paintings, but this one took a lot longer to come together than I expected. Couple that with a sick kid and a night at the barn (horses, I love them and one of my spawn rides), meant that there was a delay in finishing up the painting.

Firefly is a show to which I came late. Long after it had been cancelled. I saw the memes and even read some fan fic, crossover stuff, but it wasn’t even on my radar until one of my besties insisted that I needed to watch it. And since it was on Netflix anyway, easy peasy.

Oh, the watching at first was easy and then it grabbed me through the feels so hard. And then…it ENDED. What the fucking hell?

Probably the reaction of every browncoat around.

Each character grabbed my heart and held on fast. Though the pilot drags a bit, we meet all our characters and see their little quirks. Kaylee in particular is a very interesting character from the get-go. She appears to be sitting in the sun but she’s actually watching the people around her. Noticing things.

And she loves her ship so damn much.


I really loved how the Doctor Who painting and the Loki painting came together. The limited palette gave me the freedom to concentrate on shapes and tones. And Prussian blue? My absolute favourite colour. By far.

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So I was incredibly excited to paint Kaylee in this style. I watched the pilot episode of Firefly to find a really good shot. I wanted to see Kaylee’s apparent innocence that wraps up a steel interior. 

You’ll notice though that it’s apparent how much of a struggle it was to get Kaylee to actually look like Kaylee. Usually, there’s a strong hint or completely accurate likeness at some point in the painting but there’s really nothing here. The painting itself is fine, and technically good, but that spark just isn’t there.

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So I painted and painted and painted and finally conceded defeat at the second painting above. 11:00 pm at night. Close, but no cigar.

Now, normally you’d think this would be bad but the reality is, lately, portraits have been coming so easy to me that I really needed a fail to keep my focus. To remember that it’s not always sunshine and glitter. So I’m actually grateful for this painting, even though I was struggling, really struggling, while it was happening.


I had two days off (sick kid, horses) before I got back this one. I spent a few moments watching the scene again on Netflix and just getting a sense of how the light and shadows played.

You can see where I added in true white and knocked shadows back and evened out skin tones. I also spent a long time playing with the shape of her right eye. Teeny tiny brushes were used. These are all little things, but they really, really matter in capturing a likeness.


All in all, I spent about an hour and a half just poking at the painting until I got it right. And she was so worth it.

sm_20160109_145802-1“You’re Gonna Come With Us!”

20″ x 16″ 

Acrylic on canvas

Original and prints are available HERE in my shop.





Want to see my work in person? I’ll be in Kitchener for Tri Con on January 16th and 17th. Check out my events page for more details!

Plus, follow along as I paint my way through this month. 30 Days 30 Paintings is a fun challenge which can yield some surprising results. I’m currently painting my way through my backlog of pieces I had planned over the last couple of years. And some new ones.  Follow along here and on Facebook where I paint live nearly every night.