Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Come Paint with Me!

Everybody can be an artist and painting is really relaxing.  I'm not a professional, I am just a beginner, but with art you can't make mistakes!  I started painting because my bum hip really kept me inside and not able to do much else.  I thought I would blog about how you can become your own super artist.

First you are are going to need supplies.
  • Cup for water
  • Brushes (3)
  • Paint (white, red, blue, yellow)
  • Canvas
  • Imagination

I have a cup for water and a palette to mix paint.  As you can see, it is not really fancy but it works just fine.  I have been using this palette for a year now.
You will also need something to paint on.  You can buy canvases for cheap at Big Lots.  This one was $3.  You can also paint on a piece of wood, poster board, or anything else you find that needs a little sprucing up.
You will need some brushes.  These are my go to brushes, but I have a pretty large set. The top two brushes are actually wider than they look like in the picture.

You will also need some paint.  These acrylic paints are pretty cheap.  You can get one for less than $0.50 at places like Michaels or Walmart.  You NEED WHITE.  Black is optional but I like to have it.  You will also need RED, YELLOW and BLUE.  Then just pick up colors that catch your eye.  You will need yellow, pinks and tans if you want to paint skin color.

I like to cover my work area with plastic and wear plastic gloves to protect my manicure.

In the past, I also use a Sharpie pen to mark out my painting, but I recently splurged and got a real painting pen. It was under $5 so I should have got it a long time ago.

If you want to paint something a little more specific, you will want to make a sketch first.  Otherwise just go for it.  Here is a sketch I did just on plain white paper.  Then I went over it with a black pen.
You can also print out any image off the internet to get ideas for a sketch, or just trace over the image.  Just don't try to sell the image or anything.  Using it in your own home is A.O.K. though.  Here are some examples I just grabbed off the internet

Now I am going to transfer my image to my canvas just by taping the image to the back of the canvas and holding it up to a window to trace.

Here it is traced onto the canvas

Once the image is on the canvas you can just fill in the lines, just like grade school.  You should start with the background first in most cases but I couldn't decide on a background color. Here I decided to start with the skin color because I like add a lot of layers to the skin color. 

I like to paint on the edge of the canvas but some people leave the edge of the canvas white.  I personally think leaving the edge of the canvas white looks better, but I can never keep it white.  To keep the edge white you will need to tape the edge and then touch it up later. 
Now I am adding the background color.  I decided on blue to match her pretty blue eyes. You can just pour the paint right on the canvas.  I like to make the corners and edges of the background darker.

When the corners and edges of the background is darker,  this draws the eye into the middle of the painting.

It is good to keep layering colors on your painting as well.  This gives it depth and life.  In general you can layer the darker colors first then add the lighter colors as highlights.

Here is my painting, it is getting close to finished, as you can see it is still wet.

Here is my finished product.  Do you recognize the girl I used as my inspiration?

There is no right or wrong or good or bad when it comes to artwork.  Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.  I know my artwork is not perfect, or professional, but it is an expression of what is inside my heart.

Even if you never thought you were a good artist, I would suggest you give painting a try and see what you come up with.  It is therapeutic, relaxing, and you just might be the next Picasso or Van Gogh.  And remember, you can't make mistakes when it comes to art; it is ART for goodness sakes!

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