Current project: Fund-raising retablo for Lawndale Art Center

Every year, Lawndale Art Center in Houston, Texas, holds a fundraising auction on the Day of the Dead. Local artists create contemporary versions of traditional retablo paintings and donate half or all of the proceeds to the center. This is the first time in 6 years that I’ve participated. After much deliberation, I decided to work with a combination of the “hand of Fatima” or hamsa icon and the Sacred Heart icon.

Transferring a drawing onto a zinc plate to paint © Wren M. Allen

Tracing the retablo drawing onto the zinc plate.

To transfer the image, I traced the drawing onto lightweight tissue, then placed Saral transfer paper between the tissue tracing and the prepared zinc plate and retraced.

Zinc Plate Ready to Paint with Icons © Wren M. Allen

Here is the plate with the traced image, ready to paint.

After transferring, I started to paint the image. I still have some CretaColor liquid acrylic pigments, so I started off with a quick layer of color on the central image.

First stage of painting a retablo with red and blue, © Wren M. Allen

The heart and hand have received the first coat of paint.

The color scheme is going to be bold and folkloric, to tie in with the basic retablo history in Mexican culture. The word retablo refers most often in Mexican culture to small votive paintings that are offered up when asking the saints for holy intervention in the prayer-giver’s life, or donated in thanks for the granting of benedictions/healing, etc.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...