Playing around with Friends

Usually I take step by step pictures so I can blog about it later, but I had some friends with me in the Art Room today. We were having fun and just playing around with our paints so I didn’t take pictures until the end.

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I used masking tape to create some texture for the background of the painting. You can’t see it very well in the picture. It’s more visible in real life. I cut circles from a page I tore out of an old book. I also cut leaves and some butterflies. I tried to stencil the butterflies, but my paint leaked under. If anyone has a tip on painting with stencils, please share it with me. I see other people doing it with ease, but I just can’t seem to master it.

I used spray inks for the background. I used acrylic paint for the printed shapes. I wiped off the excess paint with a baby wipe. I did struggle with the petals of the flowers. The ink came up through the paint. So I kept adding more paint to cover it, but in the end I had a blobby mess. So after my friends left I took my finger nail to the petals and scraped the paint off. I repainted them and they look much better than they originally did, but I’m still not completely happy. Oh well… mistakes happen, but I learned something. And next time I’ll do better.

For the dots I used the back of my brush to create them. Then I added black lines around the dots, flowers and leaves. I also used my Pitt pen to make the stems. Lastly, I added the metal quote with some ribbon tied on with end. Overall, I’m happy with this piece, but I still have to paint the edges black. That will have to be another day.

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Til next time…

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Conquering a fear

I grew up believing that I wasn’t an artist. I was jealous of those that could paint and draw. I resigned myself to being creative on the computer. Graphic design is a type of art, but i still didn’t feel like an Artist. Working with stained glass, I felt like a Glass Artist, but I still wanted to be a True Artist. Now that I’ve embarked on this new path I am feeling more and more like an Artist with each piece I create. But there is still one type of painting that scares me…. People. Painting people makes me nervous. If you don’t do it right the person can come out looking like an alien or worse. Today I decided to confront my fear!

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I started by sketching an outline. I felt better having some lines to follow.

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I mixed a couple of colors to get the right skin tone, but it was still a little too dark. I’ll fix that later.

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The hair came next… Brown seems good. It is sort of a self portrait after all and I just dyed my hair a pretty dark brown.

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I painted the shirt and tried adding a pattern with a stencil, but it didn’t work very well because the spiral from the book kept getting in the way. So I had to go over the entire thing again. Not happy with the look of this.

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I added some highlights to the hair and painted the shirt a brighter pink. I also added ink sprays to the background. That was not easy! I should have done that type of background first because it went all over! Luckily, baby wipes helped to clean it up.

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My hands didn’t fair as well. I’m going to have crazy colors on my hands for about a week.

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I added some 3D flower stickers to her hair. I also added some shadowing to the right side of her face and neck.

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Her shirt was a little boring so I painted some organic ribbon pink. Then cut it to the shape of her shirt.

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The ribbon is in place and I used some letters to spell out “Art Girl”. I picked up the letters (by Tim Holtz) at Michaels.

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I used a dry brushing technique to added a bit of white to the ribbon. Her shirt actually looks like a sweater I own! I also used a watercolor crayon to add a bit of blush to her cheeks.

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My girl is done! I’ll conquer painting a face another day. For now… I’m really happy with how she turned out.

Til next time…

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First Art Journal page – kinda

So I attempted to make my first art journal page. I see these as messy, fun, lots of layers but my page didn’t turn out that way. My perfectionism has reared it’s ugly head again. I’m having a hard time letting go. When I want to create a random pattern in any form, I plan out its randomness. How crazy is that??? I think maybe I’m having such a tough time with this because I don’t want to make something ugly and have people say, “See! She’s not an artist!” But what do I care? Who makes them the expert to judge me? I’m having fun and that’s all that matters. Right?

So on to the project…

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Here is my blank journal page and my watercolor pencils.

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I drew a heart and shaded it darker on one side.

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I wanted the heart to pop from the background so I started to add this deep blue around it with my finger. Why not? Painting with your fingers is fun and messy!

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I went around the entire heart with the deep blue and now I’m adding a lighter shade around the outside. I just used the same blue and added some white to it.

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I added all the lighter blue around the outside. Then I added more of the deep blue close to the heart so I could pull it out over the lighter blue. I wasn’t getting the look I wanted with my finger so I switched to a baby wipe. As I was pulling the paint I didn’t realize that the back of the baby wipe was dragging across the heart. Opps!

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The heart was looking kind of weak against that intense background so I decided to go over it with some acrylic paints. I dabbed with my finger and created this peaked texture. I used two different shades of pink, a mixture of the two and some white. I’m pretty happy with the look of this.

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I used a fat nib Pitt pen and a medium nib paint pen to create the outlines around the heart.

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I used some pretty scrolly stamps to create this effect. I did run into a problem though. The spiral kept getting in the way when I was trying to stamp. I think next time I’ll buy a bound book or I’ve been toying with the idea of making my own. We’ll see.

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I added some paint dots inside the heart and randomly (as best as I can do random) around the outside. I just used the back of my paint brush.

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I had planned from the beginning that the page would say something. So I thought I’d add, Love makes the world go round. I wanted to put an emphasis on the word Love so I decided to cut it out from some scrapbook paper and my Silhouette Cameo machine.

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Here is a graphic I found in my files.

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Love all cut out. I added some deeper pink around the edges with a marker, but it bled into the paper quite a bit. I decided just to go with it. Not the effect I was going for, but it’s not too bad.

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Not too much room down here. I’m not sure I like the word on there at all.

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Here is the rest of the phrase. I printed it out on some cardstock and added pink distress ink with a blending tool.

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Maybe it’s better without the phrase? I really can’t decide. My husband came home and thought my page was beautiful. He suggested that we scan it in and use it for a gallery wrap. You know, those wall hangings that look like a painted canvas (no frame), but are really printed. They are a great way to have beautiful art on your wall without having to pay for an original art piece.

If I decide to go that route I would want to leave the words off so I could add in a saying digitally. I really don’t know what to do. I’m actually all little surprised that he thought it was good enough to sell as a gallery wrapped canvas art piece.

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So I guess I’m going to leave it for now and decide later. I hope you guys enjoyed the process!

Until next time…

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Mishap with a heat gun

Well, today I thought I’d make another altered brush while I waited for my Dad to show up. He’s helping me install some doors in the lower level of our house. We got my daughter Hayley’s door on her bedroom last night. She’s pretty excited to have some privacy after having no door for about two months.

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Now she just needs to clean her room.

So here is my brush with some gesso already painted on.

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I’m going to take this pretty scrapbook paper and cut it into strips and then wrap them around the brush with some Matte Medium.

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It’s a little harder to do than I thought it would be, but I’m liking the look of it.

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That looks good! Time to dry it up with my new heat gun.

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Oops! Got the heat gun a little too close to the bristles on the brush. Oh well. I’ll just do it to the rest of the bristles and say I did it on purpose.

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I added some ribbon and the little Diva tag. But I need more bling if this is a Diva brush.

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That’s better.

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I felt like I needed to add something to the handle. A flower in the colors of the ribbon was perfect! Well, maybe I need two. She is a Diva brush after all.

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She’s all finished. Looking pretty sassy in all her Diva glory.

This was a lot of fun to make. And now it’s still to help my Dad install the door to my Art Room. I’ll finally be able to blast my Indie music to my hearts content.

See you soon…

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Recycled Paint Art

I’ve been using palette paper to mix my paints and I’m left with these pieces of colorful paper. Too pretty to throw away. Plus, I like to use everything I can to its fullest extent. Call that being “Green” or maybe I’m just cheap. Either way I had fun creating something out of what might be garbage to some.

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Here is the palette leftover from my “Starry Night” painting.

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I used a 1 inch heart punch and made all of these sweet little hearts.

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Here are the hearts I made from my “Dream” painting.

I’m not exactly sure what I’m going to do with them yet. I do have a couple of ideas rolling around in my head already. Whatever I do I’m sure it will be fun. And it always feels good to make something with recycled materials.

Til next time…

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Inspired by Van Gogh

I love art museums! The impressionist artists are my favorite part. As long as I can remember I’ve had prints by Van Gogh and Monet hanging in my house. When my family needed to come up with a name for a new puppy we were getting, we decided on Van Gogh for a boy and Monet for a girl. We ended up getting a cute little girl that is a Golden Retriever and maybe an Australian Shepherd or Sheltie mix. This is Monet. She’s sweet, quirky, loyal and an all around awesome dog.

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Now on to the painting…
I decided that for my second canvas I would like to do a night sky and some stars reminiscent of Van Gogh’s Starry Night. Of course I could never make it look that good, but a can make my own version.

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First, I started with an aqua blue.

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Then, a medium blue.

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And lastly, a deep purple. I added Golden Gel Medium – Soft Gel Gloss to the paints so I could blend them together.

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I was thinking of doing more of a dark to light effect, but once I started seeing the colors streaking together I loved the effect and decided to go in that direction instead. I know skies are supposed to go horizontally, but I really like the vertical look. And I have always loved going against what you’re “supposed” to do.

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I think I’m going to need some trees for this night sky. So I cut some out of a priority mail envelope I had laying around. I just need to paint them black.

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Now I’m adding some stars. Cadmium Yellow Deep Hue is what I started with.

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Then I added Cadmium Yellow Light Hue.

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And last I added Primary Yellow. I think that looks close to what I was looking for.

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The trees look great against the background so I glued them on. But wait… I think it’s missing something.

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How about some rolling hills cut out from some scrapbook paper. It was a little too bright so I darken up the edges with some Distress Ink – Peeled paint.

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That’s much better, but I need more dimension. Time to get out my button stash!

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That’s perfect! Now I’d like the painting to have a saying or something. Something to do with stars since that’s the main focus. I know… How about something classic like, “Wish upon a Star”.

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I tried painting the phrase and using markers. For type that small, I just don’t like my own handwriting for it. So I typed it up in Illustrator. That’s my “go to” program for graphics. My husband and I run a Sign, Banner, Wall Decal business called Stephen Edward Graphics. I design the wall decals for our Etsy shop. So I decided that a decal would be perfect for the phrase I needed.

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Looking great on some scrap paper I had!

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I wanted the phrase to stick out so I added some foam to the back.

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In place and looking good!

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As you can see the edges are not finished, but I couldn’t wait to post the pictures! I will be painting all the edges black.

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I love this painting and I had so much fun creating it! That’s what art is all about.

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First Mixed Media Canvas Art

Well, here goes nothing… my first mixed media canvas project! Why is this so scary? As a self proclaimed perfectionist, mixed media is like a foreign language. I get the concept, but I still don’t quite understand how to speak it.

I decided to make a background with all the colors of the rainbow. I’ve seen other paintings with that type of background and I always thought they were cool. I have to admit though, I’ve never been comfortable using that many colors all together. So I have no idea why I would choose this for my FIRST painting, but I guess I’m just a glutton for punishment.

I think this is a pattern for me, choosing a very difficult thing to do for my first project. For my very first stained glass project I chose to make a 3D butterfly girl. Why didn’t I make a flat piece to begin with? I have no idea. I guess all I’ll say is that it was a struggle and it included some colorful language. Plus, I melted off the side of the metal girl while I tried soldering on the wings. I guess the lesson I learned was… if I could get through that first project then I can do anything (with some practice).

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So here is my first attempt with the background.

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Not quite the look I was going for. I wanted it more blended than that.

Maybe I should mute it a little by adding some thinned out white paint over the top?

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Nope…

Okay. I think it’s time to start over.

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Not quite completely white, but close enough.

I think I need to get out my ink sprays.

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That’s better! I sprayed the canvas with different colored ink sprays and then blotted them with a paper towel. I forgot to get a picture before I added some droplets of semi-opaque white paint. I’m pretty happy with the background at this point. Even with all the colors it reminds me of a sky. Something you might see in a dream. Well, that takes me to the next thing I want to add. The word “DREAM”.

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I used a piece of cardboard from a Honeycomb box and my Silhouette Cameo machine to cut it out. This is what the sheet looked like after I removed the letters. The reverse still looks great so I’m going to keep it for another project.

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I painted the letters white and even painted the organic ribbon white. I thought with the colorful background, white would be a good choice. But it looks too boring.

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I decided to cut out a tree using the same method as the word Dream. I painted it brown using 2 colors of paint and then glued it to the canvas. I like the way it reaches beyond the edges.

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I added some paper flowers from my stash and some cute little gems for the centers. Now I need to figure out how to get dream on there.

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I decided to go back to the original color of the organic ribbon I tried to use before. I think green looks much better. Especially up against the tree trunk. I secured the ribbon with a spray adhesive since it was so holey and I didn’t know another way to secure it without having glue go all over. I’m pretty happy with how everything looks so the last thing to do is to add the word DREAM and I’m all done!

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It’s not exactly how I had envisioned, but it’s not too bad either. Hey! I actually said my own work wasn’t too bad. I think I’m experiencing some personal growth. I’m usually much more critical of my work.

Well, I figure that this is just the first project and I’ll get better with each one I do. Plus, I learned what didn’t work and what did. No project is a waste as long as you learn something.

See you next time.

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