Julia Hayashi | Winter Formal
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Winter Formal

Winter Formal

Winterformal.  22 ½” x 27”

Why I painted this.

Those dresses. Each formal my sons went to I got to be a part of the pre-dance paparazzi. This picture caught my eye as something I wanted to paint because the dresses coordinated especially well and I wanted to work on fabric and skin tones. Lots of skin tones and pretty folds in the fabric here.

The process.

I wanted the black suits to reflect the girls dress colors so I used pretty strong washes of the pink before laying down the darks.  I really started super light with the skin tones on everybody and then built up. I don’t recommend this. It took forever to get them built up.  I know that building up color with a lot of washes is one way to get there, but I have been told, more than once to start with the darkest tones. I am still trying to have the confidence to do that. I guess I like to get things a little bit mapped out in my mind before committing to serious color. I think my process will change as I get more experience.

What is important to me.

Each painting I do I like to try to improve a certain aspect of my techniques. In this one it was fabrics. I love the way the dresses turned out and the fun play of color in the suits. Notice toward the ground how the washes have green reflection from the grass. I really like that.  I love the scale of a big painting. It’s important to me to be bold and give myself space to let the water mingle and let the color do its thing. Painting in the smaller formats its super hard to really let watercolor do its thing.

Where I see this hanging.

I visit model homes a lot with my husband who is in the home building industry. There is almost always the “Teenage girl room”. They usually have a bright bold something -very girly piece of artwork over the bed. I totally see a painting like this in that setting. As a matter of fact if you have a teenage daughter and you think she looks lovely at her next formal. Take some great photos and let’s create some art for her room.  Can you imagine what a Princess she will feel like!

If you are an interior designer and would like a print of this, or just somebody who likes pink you can get a fine art print at;


©Julia Hayashi 2015



November 18, 2015


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