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This page last updated January 19, 1998

If you've read the Intro and earlier fires on the giraffe, you can click below to go straight to a specific fire (as available)

First Fire
Second Fire
Third Fire
Fourth Fire
Fifth Fire
Sixth Fire
Seventh Fire
Eighth Fire
Ninth Fire
Tenth Fire
Eleventh Fire

For this next painting, you see only the head and neck of a giraffe poking up in a child's nursery room setting.   As with the tiger painting, I used Corel Photopaint Version 7 to plan my painting on the computer.   The giraffe used in the source for this painting is from a photograph I took at the San Diego Wild Animal Park.   The nursery setting is from a photo of a nursery room.   I re-arranged and removed some items in the room to make it suit my purpose.   The scenery through the large window behind the giraffe is from a photograph of Newport Beach.   The giraffe seen through the window, "munching" on the tree outside is actually just another photo of the same giraffe.   All of these photos were scanned into computer files and used to compose the final picture used as the source for this painting.

I used a size 11"x14" porcelain tile for this painting.

Click here to see the picture plan for this painting

(Image Size: 58K)

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Giraffe in the Nursery - First Fire

  1. I first traced the design on the tile.  First, I need to point out that I changed the head on the giraffe I originally intended to use for this painting.   I have replaced the source picture with one which shows the new giraffe.   My china painting teacher, Hulda, talked me into using the new one shown in the picture.   It is a little younger giraffe.   (Maybe more suitable for the nursery scene?)
  2. The photo of the painting turned out very light.   The painting itself is light, but the colors shown in the photograph appear just a little more faded than they actually are.
  3. I painted the main features of the giraffe using a very light application of Yellow Brown.   Yellow Brown was also used for the giraffe outside "munching" on the trees.
  4. A light application of Turquoise was painted for the carpet in the room, as well as the drapes and the toy elephant on the dresser.   The elephant's little hat was painted with Light Fire Rose.
  5. The child's dresser and the balloon were painted with Transparency.   Yellow Brown was used for the knobs on the dresser.
  6. The teddy bear was painted in lilac, although if you wanted to have a brown teddy bear instead of a gray one, you could use Hair Brown here.
  7. The balloon string was done with darker Yellow Brown.
  8. All of the grass, leaves and greenery outside were painted with Chartreuse.
  9. Turquoise was used for the water in the harbor, with a very light application of Dark Blue used for the distant shoreline.   The sky was done in an even lighter application of Dark Blue.
  10. The tree trunk and limbs were painted with Hair Brown.
  11. Since I did not paint anything on the crib or the toys in the crib, I will need to check the layout of the tracing and probably work them into the next fire.   I allowed an unpainted area where they will be.
  12. And that's it for the 1st Fire.   The tile was fired to cone 16.

As I did with the Tiger in the Aquarium, I have marked the colors I used on the picture of the first fire.

Click here to see the First Fire painting.
(Image Size: 43K)

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Giraffe in the Nursery - Second Fire

  1. I Laid the tracing over the painting and marked areas which I had not preserved in the first fire.
  2. More Turquoise was painted on the window drapes.
  3. I covered the distant shoreline with a light application of Violet.
  4. I added more Yellow Brown to the giraffe shown in the window.
  5. Using Pure Green, I painted the shrubery outside the window. Then I made fern shapes with wipe out strokes, using the point of the small wipeout tool.
  6. The tree was darkened with Hair Brown and some branches indicated among the tree leaves, using Hair Brown also.
  7. Transparency was used to paint in the crib. I wiped it to a lighter shade to define the rail edges.
  8. I defined the shape of the crib mattress and pillow, using a very light application of Dark Blue.
  9. Golden Red was added to the balloon. The brush was cleaned and then highlights were wiped out on the balloon.
  10. I painted the various animal toys in the crib. Strong Yellow was used for the little 'dog?' The other two toys were painted with American Beauty and Turquoise, respectively.
  11. The spots on the main giraffe were defined, using Hair Brown.
  12. I painted the little elephant toy with more Turquoise. American Beauty was added to his little cap and the tie around his neck. The eyes were painted Black.
  13. And that's it for the 2nd Fire.   The tile was fired to cone 16.

Getting a photograph to show the painting accurately has been a problem. So, this time (and probably for future fires) I scanned the actual fired tile. Because of the size of the tile, I had to scan it in two parts. (The largest size my scanner accepts is 8 1/2 by 11 inches.) I then merged the two sides together into one picture. I think this picture more accurately depicts the colors in the painting. If any color variation, it may be just a little on the 'pink' side.

Click here to see the Second Fire painting.
(Image Size: 37K)

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Giraffe in the Nursery - Third Fire

  1. I painted the dresser with more Transparency, enough to match the color of the crib.
  2. In the outside window area, I painted the spots on the giraffe, using Hair Brown.
  3. More voilet was added to the distant shoreline.
  4. Using Pure Green and Chartruese (not mixed), I painted the leaves on the trees, using the two colors to create the shading.
  5. More Pure Green was added to the shrubery outside the window. Some French Black Green was used in the trees and the ground foliage to depict deeper shadows.
  6. The tree branches were darkened, using a little Rich Brown.
  7. A light application of Dark Blue was applied to the harbor water, outlining the pier, jutting out from shore.  A shadow under the pier in the water was indicated, using a darker application of Dark Blue.
  8. I applied Transparency to the crib headboard, where I had inadvertently left it unpainted in the previous fire. This was the only part of the crib frame that I painted in this fire.
  9. I added more of the same colors as before to the crib animal toys, applying accents to their faces where appropriate. (Strong Yellow for the dog - American Beauty and Turquoise for the other two animal toys)
  10. Since the crib mattress and pillow were hard to distinguish from the crib railing, I painted a patterned blanket on the mattress and used a light application of Dark Blue on the pillow, shading it to imply the roundness.
  11. Using Lilac, I painted in the eyes and nose of the teddy bear and shaded his body.   Light Fire Rose was painted on the soles of his feet.
  12. And that's it for the 3rd Fire.   The tile was fired to cone 16.

The actual fired tile was scanned again after the 3rd fire.

Click here to see the Third Fire painting.
(Image Size: 52K)

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Giraffe in the Nursery - Fourth Fire

  1. This time I spent a great deal of time working on the facial features of the main giraffe. Using Hair Brown and Rich Brown, I painted in the markings and shadows on his face and head.  Some Yellow Brown was used on the face, especially around the mouth.
  2. A wash of Yellow Brown was applied to the giraffe's neck.
  3. More Turquoise was added to the elephant in the shadow areas.  Turquoise was also painted on the window drapes to indicate folds and shadows.
  4. I painted Violet on the teddy bear to define the shadows.  A mixture of Black and Violet was used on the button eyes, nose, and in the deeper shadows.
  5. Golden Red was painted on the balloon to define the roundness.  I wiped out the highlights with a brush cleaned in turpentine.  Using Hair Brown, I defined the balloon string in the teddy bear's hand.
  6. And that's all that was done for the 4th Fire.   This time, in an attempt to retain more color, the tile was fired to cone 17.

Again I scanned the actual fired tile.

Click here to see the Fourth Fire painting.
(Image Size: 44K)

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Giraffe in the Nursery - Fifth Fire

When I fired the painting for this fifth fire, I had a mishap.  I believe it was caused by my medium becoming contaminated with Turpentine.

Using a little suction pipette, I usually put a little medium in the well of a ceramic dish made for this purpose.  I accidently dipped the pipette into my turp instead of the medium.   As soon as I put the liquid into the ceramic dish, I realized my mistake and wiped it out.  Then I dipped the pipette into the medium and put a pool of medium in the bowl of the ceramic dish.

What I did not think to realize, at the time, was that there was probably still some turpentine in the tube of the pipette.  I believe this mixed with the medium.  I had problems all evening with the area around the giraffe's neck "weeping" and a general "resist" movement of paint and medium "away" from the edges of the giraffe's neck.  Sort of the effect when turpentine is introduced to a surface still wet with medium.

Anyway, to make an already long story short, although I took a dry brush and wiped the "weepy" area just prior to firing, an area of liquid ran through the giraffe's neck and onto the carpet background.  Click the link immediately below to see the painting with this situation:

Click here to see the Fifth Fire painting with problem run.
(Image Size: 44K)

I have attempted to "erase" the run out onto the carpet background on the tile.  To do this, I used a mixture of about 2/3 water and 1/3 Whink (Hydrofluoric acid).  I diluted the Whink in an effort to lessen the chance of removing the glaze on the porcelain along with the paint.

Whenever I use this method to try and remove fired china paint from porcelain, I first apply the mixture, using a Q-tip and then, after rubbing a very short time (less than a minute), I take a wet paper towel and wipe the area clean, then dry it with another dry paper towel.  If the china paint has not yet been removed sufficiently, I repeat the rubbing of the mixture with the Q-tip, again cleaning it with the wet paper towel and drying.  I do this alternately until the desired china paint has been removed, being careful not to rub so long as to remove the glaze too.

Since the run across the giraffe's neck is lighter than the color on the neck, I will try to correct this part of the problem with the next fire or fires.  I may or may not have success doing this.  The giraffe body is still not real dark, so there is room for additional paint to cover the mishap, but since china paint is a very translucent medium, problems of this sort are very hard to cover up.   We will see.

The link at the end of the steps for this fire will display the painting with the "erasure" of the drip in the carpet background.  This is the painting I will be working with come next week for the sixth fire.  Anyway, here are the steps for the Fifth fire:

  1. Again, I worked a lot on the detail of the giraffe's head.  I applied a wash of Golden Red to the face of the giraffe, gentley wiping lighter areas out on the face.
  2. I painted in Dark Blue with Black on the side of the face.  Dark Blue, Black and some Rich Brown was used in the area between the eyes around the upper nose and bump on his forehead.
  3. The eyes were deepened with an application of Dark Blue, Black and Rich Brown.  I made sure that some of the Dark Blue showed in the lighter part of the eyes to indicate reflection from the window.
  4. The tips of the horns were darkened with Dark Blue and Black.  These colors were also used for the markings inside the ears.  A lighter application of the Dark Blue and Black mixture was used for the shadows in the ears.
  5. A wash of Golden Red was applied to the giraffe's neck.
  6. Rich Brown was used to darken the spots on the large giraffe.
  7. A darker application of Transparency was used in the shadow edges of the dresser.
  8. More Turquoise was added to the elephant in the shadow areas.  Hair Brown was used in the shadow area on the dresser, just under the elephant.
  9. More Golden Red was painted on the balloon, still keeping the lighter areas for highlights.
  10. The carpet was painted with another wash of Turquoise.  More Turquoise was painted in areas to indicate shadows created by the light from the window.
  11.   The outside giraffe was also given a wash of Golden Red.
  12.   And that's all for the 5th Fire.   The tile was again fired to cone 17.

The actual fired tile was scanned.

Click here to see the Fifth Fire painting (after problem run on carpet has been "erased".
(Image Size: 49K)

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Giraffe in the Nursery - Sixth Fire

  1. I painted the sky with Dark Blue and some Light Fire Rose.
  2. Using French Black Green the deep shadows in the trees were darkened even more.
  3. Mixing Yellow was used for the sunlit areas on the tree leaves.
  4. I used a mixture of Heliotrope and Black to darken the distant shoreline buildings.
  5. Dark Blue was applied to the water, darker in color near the immediate shoreline.
  6. The drapes were given another coat of Turquoise.
  7. I painted areas of French Black Green in the bushes outside the window to indicate shadows.
  8. I went over the wood rails of the crib with an application of Yellow Brown with some Transparency, defining the edge shadows with an addition Warm Gray.
  9. The shadow areas on the Teddy Bear were defined with Heliotrope.
  10. I went over the spots on the larger giraffe with Rich Brown. I avoided "brushing" the color in an effort to cover the run area created in the previous fire.
  11. The spots on the giraffe outside the window were also painted with Rich Brown.
  12. I applied a wash of Golden Red on the larger giraffe face.
  13. Black was painted over the inner ear spots, the spots on the face and some areas in the eyes.
  14. Some Rich Brown was used around the nose area of the giraffe face.
  15. The shadows of the toys in the crib were indicated by Warm Brown.
  16. More Golden Red was painted on the darker areas of the balloon.
  17. And that is all for the Sixth Fire. The tile was fired at cone 17.

Again I scanned the actual fired tile.

Click here to see the Sixth Fire painting.
(Image Size: 52K)

Giraffe in the Nursery - Seventh Fire

I apologize for the delay in posting this Seventh Fire painting on the giraffe.  I was occupied getting ready for a vacation in Hawaii on the Big Island to visit with my mother and sister.  I am there now and enjoying the sun and surf and beautiful scenery.  I have brought my laptop and finally have a little time to update the page.   So here is the information on the Seventh Fire:

This fire was used mostly to deepen colors in already painted areas and to paint the texture of the room carpet.

  1. First, I masked all items adjacent to the carpet with Resist.
  2. After the Resist dried, I painted the carpet with Turquoise. I painted a more concentrated Turquoise where the light coming through the window might cast shadows.
  3. Then, using a dry ball of cotton, I blotted the whole carpet area to create the appearance of "tufting".
  4. After I was satisfied with the appearance of the carpet, I pulled up the Resist.
  5. More Yellow Brown was added to the edges of the baby dresser, crib headboard and crib rails to define lights and darks.
  6. The color on the giraffe spots was darkened with more Rich Brown
  7. More French Black Green was applied in the deepest shadow areas of the bushes outside the window and the leaves in the trees.
  8. Violet and Black was applied to the shadows on the Teddy Bear.
  9. Light Fire Rose was applied to the bottoms of the Teddy Bear's feet.
  10. The balloon string was more strongly defined with hair brown.
  11. The water in the forground was deepened with Dark Blue.
  12. Using, Dark Blue, Violet and Black, the buildings on the far shore were more sharply defined. I indicated some taller buildings against the skyline.

And that was it for the 7th fire. The tile was fired at cone 17.

Click here to see the Seventh Fire painting.
(Image Size: 52K)

Giraffe in the Nursery - Eighth Fire

There are only five steps to this fire as I actually painted in two areas.  Most of my time was spent blocking in the lines for the wallpaper design.  I did not particularly like the wallpaper on the source picture, so I decided to create my own design of a simpler pattern.  This just consists of diamonds evenly spaced across the wall.  I used a black Stabilo marker to draw the lines defining the diamond design.   This marker is supposed to fire off in the kiln.  Usually this is true but, for some reason, there were very faint marks from the marker still on the tile after it came out of the kiln.  The ones on the edge of the tile will probably not show when framed and the ones alongside the diamonds will probably be covered by any containing lines I add in a future fire.

  1. First, using the Stabilo black marker, I made marks, spaced 1/2 inch apart all around the edge of the tile.
  2. The marks were used as starting and ending points for diagonal lines I next drew across the tile (both from left to right and right to left, creating diamonds) on the area where the wallpaper would be.  I used the same Stabilo black marker for these lines.
  3. After I had created the diamond pattern, I filled in alternating diamonds with an application of Golden Red .
  4. I have indicated how the marks were made and the diagonal lines drawn on the picture of the Eighth fire painting be showing just a few of the marks and lines.
  5. The only other painting done for this fire was to indicate the drawer sections on the dresser with lines of Yellow Brown.

And that was it for the 8th fire. The tile was fired at cone 17.

Click here to see theEighth Fire painting.
(Image Size: 56K)

Giraffe in the Nursery - Ninth Fire


Most of the work done on this fire was the creation of deeper shadows to give the illusion of depth to the painting.

  1. Using Warm Gray, I painted a wash on the window side wall and the wall by the crib.   The shadows were intensified  under the window sill.
  2. I deepened the cast shadows from the furniture on the carpet by mixing Turquoise with a little Black.
  3. The side of the giraffe farthest from the window was painted with Violet of Iron. The contours of the outside giraffe were also defined with Violet of Iron.
  4. The shadow areas of the toy elephant were deepened by the use of Turquoise mixed with a touch of Black.
  5. The same type of shadowing was done on the teddy bear with Violet mixed with a little Dark Blue and Black
  6. A light wash of Mixing Yellow was put on the tips of the giraffe's ears. Some Violet of Iron and Black, mixed with Dark Blue was sparingly applied to the side of the face farthest from the window.
  7. A little deepening of the shadows on the crib was achieved by painting some Warm Gray on the side of the sheet and Warm Gray and Yellow Brown on the shadow side of the rails.
  8. A little Warm Gray and Yellow Brown was also painted on the far side of the dresser.
  9. Warm Gray with Turquoise was used for the folds of the drape.

And that was it for the 9th fire. The tile was fired at cone 17.

Click here to see the Ninth Fire painting.
(Image Size: 55K)

Giraffe in the Nursery - Tenth Fire

I apologize for the delay in posting this Tenth Fire.  I think I may have finally gotten caught up on my regular schedule this weekend , after the delays caused by the holidays.

  1. I applied French Black Green, mixed with Turquoise, on the carpet in the various shadow areas (under dresser, in far corner of room, under crib, under the window and in the shadow areas on the carpet near the Teddy Bear).
  2. Using French Black Green, again mixed with Turquoise, I further defined the folds of the drape.
  3. I indicated the shadow on the wall, made by the drape, by painting a mixture of Violet of Iron and Golden Red.
  4. Violet of Iron, mixed with Golden Red, was also used to darken the shadow side of the balloon.
  5. More shadow was added to the giraffe's neck, using Mahogany.
  6. More shadow was also added on the darker side of the giraffe's face, using Mahogany and Hair Brown.
  7. The knobs on the dresser were enlarged and further defined with Yellow Brown.
  8. The crib headboard and shadow side of the crib rails were darkened with Yellow Brown and Hair Brown.
  9. I defined a fallen shadow on the crib blanket, using a mixture of Dark Blue and Black (applied very lightly).
  10. Using the same light application of Blue and Black, I darkened the blanket at the side of the crib.

And that was it for the 10th fire. The tile was fired at cone 17.

Click here to see the Tenth Fire painting.
(Image Size: 62K)

Giraffe in the Nursery - Eleventh Fire

Most of this final fire consisted of more deepening of all the shadows. Many of the same colors used for the shadows applied on the 10th fire were again applied, where they had fired out too lightly. The majority of this work does not show up too well in the photo of this fire.

Shadows were further deepened on the carpet, under the dresser and crib and on either side of the drape. Shadows on the crib headboard and rails were deepened. The shadow side of the giraffe was darkened again. More color was applied to the knobs on the dresser.

Colors used for the shadows:

  1. On the carpet: Turquoise and French Black Green
  2. On the wall behind the drape: Golden Red and Violet of Iron
  3. On the shadow side of the giraffe: A light application of Mahogany
  4. On the dresser knobs: Yellow Brown
  5. Shadows on the crib headboard and rails: Hair Brown and Yellow Brown

I signed the painting and it was finished.

Click here to see the Eleventh Fire painting.
(Image Size: 54K)

I am having the Giraffe painting framed for entry in the Orange County Fair.

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