I’ve never met Gracie Grace, we don’t live in the same country, but we’ve been friends for about a year, thanks to Instagram. I guess that’s the amazing thing about social media, it can connect people from all over the world.
I’ve been inspired by Grace’s amazing voice and the honesty of her IG story posts and I’ve wanted to make a painting of her for a long time. The other day, while scrolling my ig feed I came across the shot that became the reference for this piece. I knew straight away that I had to paint it!
I decided to do something I’ve never done before with this piece, and that’s to use neon paint. Every brand of spraypaint has a range of neon colours, and they can be useful for small elements within a painting, but we have never used a large amount of neon in anything. I knew my main challenge here was going to be working with block colour – I normally paint a portrait using light, dark and mid tones.
There are no tones with neon but I noticed that when it sits on top of a white base coat it is more vibrant than when it sits on a darker background colour. I layered white and black on to my outline and it allowed me to create the illusion of tone within the piece. You can see this in the video.
One of the coolest parts of this project was collaborating with Grace. She recorded a song especially for this ‘making of’ video. Give it a listen and let us know what you think. I think she’s going to be a star.