Red Fawn: Turning A Painting Into Jewellery
Red Fawn: Turning A Painting Into Jewellery by Melissa Chen
I recently turned another painting of mine into jewellery. This time it was the painting Red Fawn (pictured below), which I painted in 2017. This oil painting is 77 by 92 cm and is painted on linen canvas. In the painting, a spotted red fawn sleeps curled up amidst a web of thorny branches. I remember trying the make the fawn look as serene as possible while painting the soft looking fur. The fawn’s eye is closed in a delicate C shape that echos the curve of it’s back. I made it look furry by making each white spot slightly feathery around the edges where it meets the red fur. The prickly branches form a protective nest around the fawn, where it can sleep safely. Here, a fawn becomes a delicate little bean shaped creature in deep slumber. It’s bright shade of red gives it a fairytale like appearance.
The fawn’s bean shape makes it perfect for turning into jewellery. Therefore, I decided to design a ring and a pendant necklace from my painting of the sleeping fawn. When turning the painting into jewellery, the white oil painted spots becomes white glass enamel and the soft fur becomes a brushed metal finish. I then figured out the positioning of the limbs and hooves on the underside of the fawn. Essentially, I was turning a flat 2D depiction into a 3D miniature sculpture and it had to make anatomical sense. With some finessing, I positioned the limbs on the underside of the fawn in way that looks plausible.
For the ring version of the fawn I decided to use antlers to prop up the fawn and to form the band. I considered using the thorny branches in the painting but decided against it because it wouldn’t be wearer friendly unless I strategically positioned all the thorns to not point outwards. Plus, I didn’t think the thorns would improve the overall beauty of the ring when compared to the antlers.
By turning the painting into jewellery, the sleeping fawn became a wearable symbol that means something different for each wearer. In turn, I feel that the Sleeping Fawn jewellery has given my original painting new life.