Completed It's the Small Things

Fall Job #2: Lyra is commissioned for a portrait

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The Diamond of Kalea is located on Kalea's extreme west coast and called as such because its completely made of a crystalline substance called Skyglass. Home of the Alvina of the Stars, cultural mecca of knowledge seekers, and rife with Ethaefal, this remote city shimmers with its own unique light.

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It's the Small Things

Postby Lyra Nix on September 15th, 2020, 3:20 am

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10th of Fall, 520

It was just after the Noon Rest when Lyra arrived at Tain’s Studio, kit tucked under her arm. Refreshed and energized from getting to spend the first part of her day in leisure, she pointedly made her way to the painter’s part of the building, looking for Nat. She’d given word that Lyra was being commissioned to paint a portrait. Eager, excited, and even a bit nervous, Lyra found Nat near the back of the Studio, waiting with a woman and her child. She was greeted with smiles, Nat readily making the introductions. “Isabella, Cayden, this is Lyra. She’s the artist who’s going to paint your portrait. Lyra, this is Isabella and her son Cayden. You’re going to be painting him today.” Satisfied with introductions, Nat promptly left them to get acquainted and likely go work on something of her own.

Smiling at her clients, Lyra led them to a nearby table, inviting them to sit down. Once seated, Lyra began interviewing them to see what their vision was for the portrait and decide on the details of it all together. Turning to Isabella first, Lyra started the questionnaire. “Alright, so we’re painting Cayden, right? Did you have a specific backdrop in mind, or any ideas for pose? You can leave as much detail or vision to me, or not, as you see fit. I’m here to put this together for you.” Isabella visibly relaxing a bit, she excitedly began answering Lyra’s questions. “I’m so relieved to hear that Lyra, thank you. We were thinking of having him sit on a stool, by a tree outside. We would leave the majority of his pose up to you, as well as what tree and what angle you’d paint him from. I just want him looking up to the sky through the tree.”

Taking a few moments to envision what Isabella said she wanted, Lyra formed some ideas in her head before then turning to Cayden. “Alright Cayden, how about you guys wait right here, and I’ll gather what we need and we’ll head outside, okay?” Striding away from them, Lyra approached the inventory of canvas’ and paints, setting her kit down on the table. She had her brushes and bowls of course, but she’d need a canvas and paints from the Studio to complete this piece. Grabbing a basket to carry the paint in, Lyra began grabbing the colors she’d need for this portrait. A myriad of colors made it into the basket, ranging from brown to blue to yellow and almost everything in between. Once she had paints gathered, Lyra then selected a canvas of appropriate size for the task and an easel, set her kit inside the basket with the paints, and returned to Isabella and Cayden.

“Alright I have everything we need. There’s a nice tree not too far from here so I can easily return to the Studio if we need something else. Are you two ready to go? Follow me.” Leading them outside, Lyra started down the path leading to the Studio, finding a tree that ran alongside it. Looking at it from the path, the angle provided a perfect view of the afternoon sky beyond the branches. Setting her materials down against the tree, Lyra turned to the mother and child. “I think this will be perfect. I’m going to run back to the Studio to get a stool, a bucket of water, and some rags and I’ll be right back. Then we can get started.”


Word Count: 581
Last edited by Lyra Nix on September 15th, 2020, 3:59 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Lyra Nix
Art is literacy of the heart
 
Posts: 22
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It's the Small Things

Postby Lyra Nix on September 15th, 2020, 3:23 am

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Returning with the rest of her materials, Lyra placed the stool a few feet away from the tree, below the outstretched branches and then placed her easel and canvas an appropriate distance away from the stool so as to take in the whole vision for the piece. Her clients waited patiently while she set everything up, paints and bowls lined up and ready to go when she gets to that part of the process, water and rags waiting nearby for that as well. Materials in place, Lyra next went over to Cayden, gingerly leading him over to the stool. She sat him down with his back partially towards the tree and partially towards her, so that it looked as though he was facing the sky beyond the Peak. From the angle she would be painting him from, one side of his face could still be seen so the portrait wouldn’t be completely from behind him.

Stepping back for perspective, Lyra called out to the boy. “Alright Cayden it’s looking good. Go ahead and look up through the branches for me so I can make sure everything looks good.” He followed her instructions wonderfully, looking up just enough that behind her, Isabella giggled with happiness at the sight. Taking her cue from the mother, Lyra called out to Cayden again. “That’s perfect Cayden. Sit as still as you can for me, alright? We’ll take lots of breaks so you don’t get uncomfortable okay?”

With that said, Lyra grabbed her kit, taking out one of her thicker charcoal pieces. Gripping it parallel with the canvas, Lyra began drawing the outline of the tree trunk, using slow and large strokes, careful not to use too much pressure so that the line didn’t show through the paint when she got to that stage. With the base of the tree finished, Lyra switched to a narrower piece, drawing the outlines for the tree branches, using even less pressure than before, and placing the lines to establish a size guide for the branches, rather than the actual placement of them. She could paint those in by eye. Next, she lightly marked the place where the stool was, and then began carefully outlining Cayden sitting on it.

“You’re doing excellent Cayden. Just a little longer for me alright?” Assurances aside, Lyra made sure to take her time with the guidelines for Cayden’s form, working in slow and precise movements. These lines will be the guiding hands of every step of the process from this moment on, so they needed to be just right. She often stepped back for focus, and even smudged out and redrew several lines before she was satisfied with his layout. The more prominent figures of the piece in place, Lyra moved on to the more obscure details, drawing in the ground line and very lightly placing guidelines for the sky above the tree. With all guidelines in place, she was ready to start painting. Deciding to get the larger and background sections painted first, Lyra mixed up the colors she needed in her bowls, grabbed her larger brush from her kit, and went to work.


Word Count: 522
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Lyra Nix
Art is literacy of the heart
 
Posts: 22
Words: 15055
Joined roleplay: July 27th, 2020, 6:36 pm
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It's the Small Things

Postby Lyra Nix on September 15th, 2020, 3:26 am

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Dipping into her sky-blue mixture first, Lyra began painting the sky, choosing to work from top to bottom so that she didn’t drag her hand through any wet paint as she moved from subject to subject. Avoiding the guidelines she still needed, Lyra painted the sky with gentle side-to-side strokes, down to the ground line. Using an empty bowl to scoop some water out of the bucket, Lyra poured it over her brush tip in increments, using one of the cloths on hand to wipe the paint out of the brush.

Once it was clean, she used the same brush to pick up green paint and used the same motions to paint the ground area, carefully working around the outlines of Cayden, the stool, and the tree. When that was complete, Lyra rinsed her brush again and dipping it into the brown paint, proceeded to paint the tree trunk in neat vertical strokes, leaving the branches to be done at another time. With the larger sections finished, it was time to move on to the next part of the painting. “Great job Cayden! Go ahead and take a break while I get setup for the next part. You’ve earned it.”

After taking the time to completely clean out her materials, Lyra readied herself to begin the next stage of painting. This stage would cover the details of the sky, the branching of the tree, and the basic portion of Cayden’s form. “Hey Cayden, would you like to watch me paint before I need you back on the stool again?” Smiling, Cayden excitedly made his way over to where Lyra was set up, hanging out close enough to watch her paint but far enough back that he wasn’t in her way. He seemed fascinated to watch her work, and Lyra wondered whether he may end up part of the art world himself when he was older. She considered asking him about it, but decided better of it. Time would tell.

Gathering her colors into bowls again, Lyra picked up her medium brush, dipping a portion of it into the white paint to begin. Moving to the upper portion of the canvas, Lyra gently painted some white clouds into the sky, scattering them and varying them by size and shape, blending the edges into the blue background. Cayden looked on curiously, his gaze regularly flitting back and forth between her canvas and the sky for comparison. Smiling to herself, Lyra continued.

Next, she cleaned her brush with water and a cloth and dipped it into the brown paint, using just the tip of the brush to pick up a small amount. Now she would paint the tree branches with slow and gentle strokes, working from the top of the trunk outwards so that the strokes flowed away from the base just as the branches flowed away from the tree in front of her. She took her time, using only small amounts of paint at a time so that she didn’t make a mess or leave an area too thickly coated before moving on to the next branch. With the areas other than Cayden finished for now, it was time to move on to painting the center of the piece, Cayden, as well as the smaller details.


Word Count: 544
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Lyra Nix
Art is literacy of the heart
 
Posts: 22
Words: 15055
Joined roleplay: July 27th, 2020, 6:36 pm
Location: Lhavit
Race: Human
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It's the Small Things

Postby Lyra Nix on September 15th, 2020, 3:28 am

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Acquiring the help of Isabella, Lyra coached Cayden back into position on the stool so that she could begin painting some of the more obscure details of his form. Once he was ready, Lyra cleaned her brush back out and returned to the white to paint Cayden’s cotton pants, using the very edge of the bristles and short quick strokes in uniform direction. When the pants were finished, Lyra cleaned her brush and dipped it into the little bit of red she had prepared, using a similar technique to the pants to paint Cayden’s shirt. With the boy being much smaller in scale compared to the ground, tree, and sky he was being painted with, it only took a few moments to get his clothes painted and with them, complete the second stage of the painting.

With the second stage of painting finished, it was time to get ready for the smaller details. Isabella gathered around her, Cayden quickly following suit, to watch her clean up and prepare for the final stage of the process. Patiently watching her, they idly chattered about the painting thus far, with Cayden sporadically getting excited to look at “himself”, even if she wasn’t finished with him just yet. Lyra kept her focus on cleaning her bowls and brush, but she couldn’t help smiling to herself that the pair were so pleased with her. She loved bringing happiness to others in any way she could, but through her art was especially uplifting to her. It’s how she knew she was meant to do this and this was her path in life.

With freshly rinsed bowls and a nice clean detail brush ready to go, Lyra got her colors ready, using one of the bowls for a mixture that would be Cayden’s skin tone. Thankfully he was a tan kid from playing outside, so mixing white into some brown to get a color like his skin wasn’t difficult. Again, he seemed fascinated with the whole process, bringing another smile to Lyra’s face. Ready to begin the finer details, Isabella once again helped coach Cayden back into position on the stool, Lyra beginning with his form so that he didn’t have to sit there for much longer. Picking up a tiny amount of paint at a time, Lyra dipped into the skin tone mixture she’d made and began painting Cayden’s limbs.

She used short light strokes, painting his hands into his lap and very small strokes for his little feet in the grass. With his limbs done, she moved on to his head, taking her time to shape it just right. When his skin areas were done, she cleaned her brush and dipped it into the brown again to paint Cayden’s hair. With his position facing away from her and looking up at the sky, Lyra didn’t need to worry about painting his facial details. She was free now to let Cayden get up so he could watch her paint in the final details of the painting. Keeping the brown on hand, Lyra quickly painted in the stool beneath Cayden before she was ready to switch colors again.


Word Count: 521
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Lyra Nix
Art is literacy of the heart
 
Posts: 22
Words: 15055
Joined roleplay: July 27th, 2020, 6:36 pm
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Race: Human
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It's the Small Things

Postby Lyra Nix on September 15th, 2020, 3:34 am

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With a fresh cleaning, Lyra dipped her brush ever so slightly into the yellow paint, keeping the pickup minimal, and returned to the canvas. Using her arm to brace against the canvas, keeping her hand as far from it as possible, Lyra flicked her wrist back and forth quickly in an almost fanning motion. Focusing, she allowed her hand to drop in minimal increments, the tip of the brush gently grazing the canvas, creating long semi-transparent strokes in the process. This technique allowed Lyra to paint gentle sun rays out across the blue sky from the corner. With the rays of sunshine in place, Lyra cleaned her brush again, this time dipping into the rich green color she had laid out. Keeping the amount of paint on the brush to a minimum again, Lyra positioned her arm along the top of the canvas, and began working to paint in the leaves on the branches. 

This part of the process was the most tedious as Lyra did her best to paint some random diversity into the leaves as she went along. She frequently changed their size and shape and even the direction they were laying, trying to give them as much a realistic appearance as possible. She worked from the farthest branch on the left side over to the opposite top corner so that she didn't smudge any of the freshly drying paint while she worked. It took some time, Isabella and Cayden forming seats on the ground near her instead of standing while she painted. Several chimes later, the leaves were finished and drying. 

Stepping back to look at the finished piece, a beaming smile spread across Lyra’s face. Waving Isabella and Cayden over to her, she asked the hardest question for an artist to ask. “Well it’s complete. What do you two think? Do you like it?” Crossing her fingers down at her side, Lyra retained her composure while Isabella inspected the final product. The woman was thorough, as thorough as any mother would be expected to be when commissioning artwork of her child. Though her outward demeanor remained collected, Lyra was all but screaming on the inside. Sure, the pair had seemed to be impressed along the way and nothing negative was ever pointed out, but being pleased during the process didn’t naturally equal happiness with the final result. That was the funny thing about art. It had a sneaky way of ending up alright. Or ending up not alright.

After what was surely only ticks, even if it’d felt like bells, Isabella turned and presented her assessment to Lyra. “It’s beautiful, Lyra! I can’t wait to hang it in our home. You did an excellent job and you were an absolute pleasure to work with. Thank you so much.” Visibly relaxing with relief, Lyra grinned at the woman. “The pleasure was all mine, I assure you. I will turn this in at the Studio so it can safely dry and be prepared for hanging, and Nat will let you know when it’s ready to take home alright?” Nodding her acknowledgement, Isabella got Cayden ready to leave while Lyra began cleaning up her supplies, dumping the water bucket, and collecting her rags. Moments later, the family said their goodbyes and turned to leave. Calling out to Isabella once more, Lyra nodded at her supplies while she addressed the woman. “If someone ever wants to 'expand their horizons so to speak', you let me know, alright?” Flashing her a knowing smile, Isabella turned to catch up with Cayden, and with their departure, it was high time for Lyra to get everything back to the Studio and head home.


Word Count: 609, 2777 total
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Lyra Nix
Art is literacy of the heart
 
Posts: 22
Words: 15055
Joined roleplay: July 27th, 2020, 6:36 pm
Location: Lhavit
Race: Human
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Plotnotes


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