Saturday, February 28, 2009

The Paintings - The Fat Lady & Eye

My father is a painter and I hit him up to help with some art for the party. Initially we planned on doing a lot of quick paintings to reproduce the fantastic paintings you see in the halls all throughout the movies. As I started thinking about all the work involved and how best to be able to reuse it, I decided on canvas board and artist grade acrylics which I got from Utrecht on Capitol Hill.

The most notable portrait in the movies is "the fat lady" so we started with that. She guards the Gryffindor common rooms and the students must give the password before she will allow entrance. Since in the movies the portraits are moving and played by actors they are not the same in all the movies. We opted for using "the fat lady" from the 3rd movie and the scene where she asked the students to wait while she attempted to break a glass with the "mere sound of her voice".

A scene from the 3rd movie showing the paintings in the halls. Again I used the technique of pausing the movie and taking a photo which I then printed on my home printer to use for inspiration. "The Fat Lady" is at the top of the stairs and "The Eye" is on the right.  

While he painted I worked on the Hogwarts Express sign and made lunch.

We chatted while we worked and it was really fun. Evie and Adrian were on break and kept coming in to watch us.

Nearing completion.

Although he finished this piece in 3 hours (which in the painter world is extremely fast) and I'm sure he would consider it rough, he did a fabulous job as you can see. Everyone who sees it is stunned. What a great thing to do for your granddaughter.

It turned out so well that I had to find an amazing way to display it. Incredibly it was a perfect fit inside my friend Janet's antique ornate gold frame. We were able to attach some blocks of wood to the back and strap the frame onto a door that we already had. The door was then strapped to a TV cabinet so it wouldn't fall over and crush a kid during the party.

It was the perfect touch for the "Gryffindor Common Room".

He also painted the eye which can be seen in the 3rd movie.

I got a frame for it, from the Goodwill, that I painted with gold paint. I already had Victorian style pictures hanging in our dining room so I simply removed the pictures of our family and replaced them with the eye and a holographic picture of Shakespeare we were lucky enough to find at the Goodwill for a few dollars.

Since the paintings are alive in the movies having a holograph was a great small touch and was fun for the kids.


  1. Your father is an amazing painter. I love that picture

  2. he's an inspiration.
    i was planning to gift a similar for a friend, googled it and stumbled here.
    and, i am completelely amazed by what is possible.
    thank you. :)

  3. wonderful job!!! C O N G R A T U L A T I O N S!!

  4. Best grandfather award! I am amazed that he completed that painting in such a short time. Clearly, he shared some of his creativity genes with you.

  5. Wow. the fat lady painting is pretty great. It definitely look very very original.
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  6. The common room, the fireplace and the fat lady made in 3 hours. You have to be some kind of a magician your self.
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