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Creating Masterpieces

On every corner, it seems, a new “paint and wine” place is opening.  Their entire job is to help you paint the perfect painting while you are also slowly, or not so slowly, becoming impaired.  Our Customers and Team Members sat back and realized that if we could create mediocre art while drinking, surely we could create amazing art while sober.  Most of us are crafty…but not what you would call traditionally artistic.  We haven’t been trained in classical painting techniques or taken years of art classes…and our hats are off to those who have.  They are artists in every sense of the word. 


But, we say constantly, “ANYONE can art!” And they can.  Anyone can take a picture and turn it into a painting. Anyone can take Mardi Gras Beads or bottle caps or silk flowers or a little acrylic paint and turn it into a masterpiece….with the right guidance and techniques.  .  Through the years, and lots of trial and error, we have

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discovered TONS of little tricks…which brushes to use, even if they aren’t the right ones for the job, when to use a stencil or painter’s tape or something that isn’t even a typical “art” tool at all.

Through the next several weeks, we will share so much of our learned techniques and tricks.  This week, we are going to share how to make beautiful paintings like the ones at the top of the page.

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First: Start with a picture or of something you want to paint.  In this one, we found a picture of a bunch of lily pads in a dark, slow moving stream.  Google is good for this…and we can’t even tell you where the original is located because after we looked once, we didn’t go back to it.

Next: Choose your color palette.  For the trees here, it was a variety of white, black, and grays.  We typically use these paints: available in gloss or matte finish. You can get them in individual colors, as well.

Then: Gather all your supplies.  You’ve gotten your paints.  Now you need to decide what brush you want to use…for the background and larger color swipes, we like to use sponge brushes.  For the more detailed or smaller color swipes, we use the smaller brushes.  You can get a variety here.  They aren’t expensive and if you decide to do this for more than a on again off again hobby, we recommend visiting an actual craft and hobby shop or art store. We use a lot of the Artist’s Loft stretched canvasses from Michaels because they are affordable and we go through them.


Next: Once you have your supplies and you are ready to start painting, the first step is to paint your background.  So grab a big sponge brush and be liberal with that background paint.  Make sure to get a good coat so you cover the whole canvas and you give yourself a good base to start your color swipes. Then let it dry. 

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Now: Okay, your background is dry.  So the first thing you want to do is determine which color you see the least of in your picture.  That is the one that goes on first.  For the tree, white was the first color over the black background. For the lily pads, it was blue.  Then you gently dip your brush in the paint and just swipe it back and forth over the area you want to paint.  You will continue doing this using the colors from least seen to most seen until you have achieved your desired look.  BE SURE TO TAKE A STEP BACK AND LOOK AT YOUR PAINTING EVERY ONCE IN A WHILE. It looks completely different from afar. Let that dry.  There is no way to mess this up because if, once it is dry, you don’t like it, you can always just keep adding more color swipes until it works for you.

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Then: It is time to add the details.  For the lily pads, that meant green color swipes.  For the tree, it meant adding the tree.   This is not the final layer.  It is the base your final layer goes on.  Do not worry, you cannot mess this up.  There is no wrong way in art. Then let it dry.


Next: After it is dry, it is time for you to add the final, minute details. The flowers on the lily pads, the leaves on the tree, and the eyes and beak on the chicken.

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This color swipe technique is a quick and easy way to produce artwork with depth and definition even when you think you are the least talented person around.  We’d love to see some of the artwork you create! Share them with us on our Facebook page!

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