Sunday, February 7, 2016

"Tea in the Hedge" Session 5, then Finished!

Now it was time to turn my attention back to the hedgehogs.  I gave them more detail both in the faces and in the "fur." The mouse received more attention as well.  This was the most fun part of the painting so far.  I also added highlights here and there in the foliage, especially the ferns, and darkened some of the spaces around them.  I added a violet behind one of the hedgehog's ears, added a few violets in the foreground, and washed a bit of purple in parts of the background.
Now it was time for the finishing touches.  I added shadows on the top of the stump (very scary) and more foliage in the nearest foreground, setting the tea scene "back into the hedge."  Finally, I deepened the lower part of the space between the hedgehogs.

Here's the "story" that goes with this painting:

Hedgehogs are not so unlike the others of God’s creatures in that as they’re enjoying one meal they’re anticipating the next!   So it was that, over a cozy breakfast, Maeve remarked to Sidney how delightful it would be to invite young Harry to afternoon tea.  Sidney thought it would be capital indeed and thus the invitation was extended.

Harry was not so keen on tea, but he had heard rumors of the sheer excellence of Maeve’s ginger drops and so accepted the invitation eagerly.

Now little Harry was from a large family, and there was barely time nor energy to spare beyond keeping body and soul together.  Many were the hours that Harry and his dear brother and sisters gleaned the hedge for morsels for their humble table.  But meager though Mama’s means might be, her spirit was refined.  She well knew the importance of Manners and every evening over supper ensured that all her young were well schooled in the social Arts.

And so it was that Harry arrived at the appointed time and place with a hostess gift, the most perfect wood violet in the hedge.  Sidney immediately exclaimed how delightful the bloom would be in Maeve’s lovely tresses but, alas, neither he nor Maeve could reach.  Harry gallantly took up the task.  As he scrambled through Maeve’s quills he became somewhat disoriented and installed the blossom backwards!

Nobody seemed to mind.


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