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Ghost Walkin' process

So the piece titled Ghost Walkin' has been sitting around my house for a long time.  I always knew I wanted to add ghosts to it but the originals looked more like the ghosts in Spirited Away than the sheet ghosts I eventually went with.  My first stab at the project was a failure.  I almost always forget my process and jump into a painting head first then end up messing it up.  So I went straight for acrylics and hated the results.  After expressing my failure to my wife, she suggested that I just start over.  Which I did.
Altered Re-Directed thrift store painting - Ben J Hutchison
I usually do an underpainting in burnt sienna.  Next, I tried to establish the color of the ghosts before I blended it in with the background.
Altered Re-Directed Thrift Store Painting - Ben J Hutchison
As you can see I went with a bluish grey tone.  Stark white would have looked too bright as this piece not only had a more subtle palate but it also had some sun damage.  Once I got a handle on the color of the ghosts, now it was time to blend them into the painting.  This is a two step process.  First I added some washes of browns and yellows and greens to get the ghosts' tone to blend with the background.
Altered Re-Directed Thrift Store Painting - Ben J Hutchison
Then the final touch.  One of the things that you end up with when you add paint to a print of a painting is that from certain light, your work stands out like a sore thumb.  My solution for that is using a spray fixative and then mod podge.  The spray protects the image and the mod podge adds a subtle texture to the whole piece that makes the ghosts blend in with the texture of the print (many times these paintings have their own fake brush stroke texture to them.  While this doesn't mimic what was originally there, it is pretty amazing how it subtly blends its in with the textures.  Thanks mod podge).
Altered Re-Directed Thrift Store Painting - Ben J Hutchison
Then finally. TA-DA!  Finished piece.  Now I just have to find this painting a good frame to call home.
Altered Re-Directed Thrift Store Painting - Ben J Hutchison
Thanks for watching!

process - Ben J Hutchison
(the aftermath)


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