Wednesday, April 22, 2015

The One Where I Pretend To Be A Painter

My sister is an artist.  She teaches high school art classes (including basics, history, ceramics, photography, stop motion, etc.) and has a part-time photography business.  So, pretty much she's amazing. (not just because of these talents, but we'll leave it at that for this post...)
This year, she had a milestone type of birthday (but for her sake I'm not going to mention the age... you're welcome Alisa!)  But I knew I had to do something big.  Something spectacular.  Something very secret and hush hush.  So I worked with my brother in law to throw her a surprise party with all her friends and family.  I decided to go with an art theme (for obvious reasons, see) and I have to say, I think it turned out pretty awesome.  I mean, not to toot my own horn or anything...

Anyway, for her gift (which also doubled as decor for the entry to the party) I decided to put this perfect quote on a canvas for her.  I know you've seen it around, because like I said, it's perfect, so a lot of people obviously love it.  But I'm going to explain my painting technique (which was freehand) and how I got a sort of 3-D effect for the flower.

I was planning on using my cricut explore to cut out the vinyl letters (because that's what it's for, yo!) but sadly my computer is having major problems lately - we blame old age, it's really got one foot in the grave (sorry, old friend, but it's true) - and it won't run the circuit design space software properly.  Or at all.  Gr.

So here's where I started out.  I sketched my idea on normal paper, figured out the spacing, etc, and the fonts I wanted to use.
Then I used a ruler and pencil and lightly drew straight lines across the side of the canvas so I would stick my words down straight.

The next step was to measure out the vinyl to the height I wanted the words to be.  I drew the words on with pencil just eyeballing everything.  And then.  The best part.  I cut every letter out by hand with a scissors.  No I am not kidding you.  Yes I am serious.  And yes, it did take a while.  They ended up nice and straight and I was pretty happy with it.  So I placed it on the canvas.

 I rubbed pretty hard on the letters because I didn't want them to come up and I was a little concerned about bleeding underneath.

 Then, on to the flower.  I wanted to make it have texture and depth, but I am NOT an artist and I'm pretty unsure of myself when it comes to oils.  So I knew I'd be painting with acrylics.  I drew the flower on the canvas lightly with pencil, then went over it with a hot glue gun.  

 I did multiple long lines for the stem, a single layer line for the leaves, layers of curves for the petals and dots for the middle.

To paint it, I did the background first.  I started in the top left corner with black, then without rinsing my brush added violet.  I blended the two together, slowly adding more violet and then, without rinsing the brush again, added indigo.  I blended the violet and indigo, then rinsed the brush and added in the aqua, blending the indigo and aqua, and moving down with just the aqua.  Then I added some citron green and blended that into the aqua really well, moving down to just citron in the corner.  Basically, you rinse your brush only between the dark to light colors, other wise you leave it and just add more color to it.  I went right over the letters, but avoided the hot glue flower.
I used dark green, kelly green and citron on the stem and leaf, just blending and highlighting.  Then I used a cherry red in the middle of the flowers, blended it into a dark pink and blended that into the white at the tips.  In the dotted center I used yellow, mustard and white to highlight.  I just dabbed it on with a round brush.

 And that was that.  When I took the letters off (which I did while the paint was a little bit wet) I did discover a bit of bleeding.  I took care of it with a white oil based paint pen.  I just went over the worst parts to even them out.  

She loved it.  I think it was a pretty fitting tribute to her _ _  years of life!  

*Be sure to check below for all the fun parties I link to!*

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