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Entries in acrylic (3)


Marion Rose Inspired Buffalo Painting

When my husband said he wanted a painting of a buffalo to put over our fireplace, I couldn't wait to get my brushes out and start painting!

We LOVE the "Bison Head Color Study III" painting by Marion Rose, so I decided I would try to replicate it.  If you are not already familiar with Marion Rose's art, please explore her site and let yourself get swept away in the amazing colors.  She was a master of bold, bright, and colorful pieces of American art.  Unfortunately, Marion Rose died in 2011.  Her art is a constant inspiration for me, so replicating one of her pieces was very special.

First grab some bright Acrylic paints and some large brushes.  I actually used a stain brush from Home Depot and found that I was able to create the best texture with this large type of brush.  I did use smaller brushes for the eye, horn, and some other highlight areas.  I wanted this painting to be massive, so I waited until I had a 40% off coupon at Michaels and bought a 36"x48" wrapped gallery canvas.

 Once I had a sketch down, I started with the background. Start by slapping, yes literally slap, the paint onto the canvas. Then alternate your brush strokes to create a textured/chunky appearance.

Now for the fun part! Building the Buffalo head took a lot of layers to create the depth, shadows, and contours.  Make sure to stop and wash your brushes every so often so your paints don't get muddy.

Don't be afraid to use black paint to really create your shadowed areas. You will be amazed how the layers will "pop" when the bright colors are bordered by darks.

I have always found eyes to be incredibly stressful.  They really help to bring emotion to your piece, so take your time! By adding a simple white highlight, you can create shape and realism to your eye.

 Before I put the brushes down, I went back with some bright colors to add last minute highlights.

This little Buffalo has a new home in our living room! I just love him, although next time I'll go bigger!



DIY Baby Shower Gift

Have you ever had to go to Babys'R'Us to buy a gift for someones baby shower? I have, and it was terrible.  One of the most overwhelming experiences to date.  I never knew there were so many options for onesies, wet wipes, diapers, baby nail clippers, and bottle nipples.  Needless to say, I vowed that from here on out I would craft or paint my baby gifts and you should too!

Start with a 5"x5" wrapped canvas and paint a basic background color.

Next, draw a cute sketch on tracing paper.  We are using tracing paper so that we can transfer the sketch to the canvas.

 *Hint! if you fold tracing paper over the image you can see how changes would look. I did this to see how the elephant would look with a beach ball.

Place your sketch over your canvas. Once you find where you want the image to go, tape down the tracing paper a piece of painters tape.

 Grab some transfer paper! I like Sally's from Dick Blick.

 Place the graphite transfer paper, with the darker side down, under your sketch.  Use a fine pencil to "re-draw" your sketch. The force of the pencil forces the graphite on the transfer paper onto the canvas.

When you take the paper away you should have something like this:

Nifty huh?!

As you add color, think of it as a "color by numbers.  By leaving thin lines as separators, you can go back with your outline.

Wait to add your outline until all the colors are dry.  Then use a fine tipped brush and black paint to add an outline. Try this Outliner (sometimes called a Highliner brush) from Dick Blick.

Outlining can be stressful and tedious. Probably a good idea to outline BEFORE you have a cup of coffee.  Jittery hands make for jittery lines.

Pretty darn cute!



Tree of Life Painting

I have always loved "Tree of Life" paintings. So I went out and bought a big 'ole canvas and sat down to paint one!  I chose to use acrylics because they dry quickly, and I am impatient.

 As always, I got my coffee ready first. Then a sketched an outline lightly with pencil.
 I started with the background. I remember in high school, I had an art teacher who said "you should never paint with white".  I paint with white ALL the time. Every time I squeeze that white tube I have to giggle. TAKE THAT!
 I'm a lucky girl and have a buddy who sleeps by my feet when ever I paint.
 Painting the background like this was awful.  If I were to do it again, I would paint the background and then freehand the tree on top.
 While I waited for the color background to dry I painted the background for another tree!
 Never underestimate how pretty your palette can be!
 Once the colors were dry I went in with a fine edged brush to paint to tree
 To finish, I added globes of different colors!

 oh and then I went and finished the other tree: