How to Paint a Bag
During March I was asked to contribute my art for a collaboration with sustainable and vegan bag brand Stacy Kessler. I’ve never painted on any type of leather or apparel before so it was a learning process for me. Of course, as a model I know fashion and trends so the design brainstorm was easy enough. It could go two routes, kitschy or abstract. I decided to try both. Read more about my inspiration in the press release.
The most challenging aspect of painting the bags was probably the fact that it was not possible to sketch out anything first. I had to have a sure hand and a firm direction so I kept the designs fairly simple.
For example, on the first piece I decided to paint a snake and I added three stars around this central figure. I chose a snake because of the design of the clutch. I knew my artwork would be folded in the middle and one side of my design would be the front and the other side the back. I chose to make one compelling image instead of two related front and back images in my design. Most of my time painting was spent adding dimension and details to the snake and it’s scales. I’m used to working on a much larger scale but it was fun to do something simple using bright colorful paints. At the end I applied a clear gloss to seal the design.
On my second piece I chose to do something very lively and abstract. Inspired by spring, I used a lot of pink. Through taping the bag I was able to create different color blocks and create a sharp design. I then chose to splatter blue paint on the entirety of the bag, sealing it with a clear gloss. In the end it resembled a stained glass window.
For my third and final piece, I echoed the layout of the first but this time used a coy fish as the central figure. I also added a bright turquoise blue background and three starfish. I really amped up the gloss for this last piece and used a lot of my remaining paint. This last piece probably took the most time as I had to finagle the design with layers of detail in order for it to finally look finished.
For all these pieces I only needed two different sized brushes, one medium angular square headed brush and another small pointed brush for fine detail. I used only eight different colors of Angelus acrylic leather paints, plus the gloss. I also used a small jar for water, some rags and a painting palette.
I also styled the shoot for the bags, using simple neutral colors that had the added interest of texture. The bright kitschy art was a perfect pop against a nude and sophisticated silhouette. I love that these bags look fitting both dressed up and down. What do you think of the final designs? Please comment below and let me know!
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