The Artistic Journey of the Violin – Day Two

Instrument Art on a Violin


The Musical Youth Foundation, a children’s charity,  sent me an invitation to paint a musical instrument.  They wished to create a greater awareness of the value of music education through their campaign:

 “Music Changed My Life”


The Artistic Journey of the Violin – Day Two

I  have always loved Michelangelo’s fresco, The Creation of Adam.  It reminds me of my teenage years backpacking around Europe and more recently by a visit with my family  to Rome and the wonders of the Vatican city. Wandering  the long corridors to the Sistine Chapel, revelling in the sculptors and magnificent wall hangings,   gazing in awe at the nine scenes from the Book of Genesis and singling out The Creation of Adam.   I could not get this image out of my mind.

Creation of Adam, Michaelangelo, Cistine Chapel, Rome, Fresco
The Creation of Adam

With the idea of painting the violin, the thoughts that arose were:

  • Parent and child – outstretched arms to impart love and care

  • Teacher and pupil – reaching out the hand of instruction and help

  • Giving and Receiving

It seemed a “must” to use this imagery as my theme.


My Design Strategy

I decided that I would use oils because  they would be  best suited to the  wood finish on the face of the violin.   They are also wonderful to work with and  are very forgiving,   should I need to make any adjustments.

My Working Process

Instrument art on a violin, the creation of adam, pencil sketch
Violin Art 1

I drew the first sketch in graphite pencil. 

Violin Art , oil painting on a violin, the creation of adam
Violin Art 2

I then mixed varying shades in a palette combining of  Pithalo Blue,  Cerulean Blue, Sap Green, Burnt Umber, Yellow Ochre and Titanium White.

Violin Art, oil painting on a violin, the creation of adam
Violin Art 3

I blocked in colour roughly and tried to be mindful of  tonal values and muscle tone.

I introduced more light into the main body of the violin and placed some highlights on the hands to create a better contrast between light and dark.

Violin art, oil painting on a violin, the creation of adam
Violin Art 4

In keeping with the Musical Youth Foundation, I  wrote in the top left  corner

Music Changed my Life

To create   balance in the painting, and to compliment the mood, I used a quote from Shakespeare,  for the base of the violin:

“If music be the food of love,  play on …..”

In the final orchestration of the painting, I added a few ivy leaves to create added interest and made some subtle  tonal changes.

Instrument art, oil painting on a violin, oil painting of the creation of adam
Violin 5

Would love to hear from you if you have an idea what to name this instrument.

Stay tuned or  sign up,  to find out  the next part of the  journey of this ornate violin.

Related Article: 

Instrument Art on a Violin – Day One 

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Author: Donna McGee

Landscape & Abstract Artist inspired by the timeless beauty of the Irish landscape

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