Monday, October 17, 2011

Paint Class and My Mural

So, this last weekend, I had my Social Artworking class. This class takes their simple to use canvas painting instruction packets and allows the student to learn the methods with a teacher present. My class was at JoAnn's Fabrics.

If you haven't heard of JoAnn's classes, please look into it. They have sewing classes, polymer bead-making classes and even teen-sewing classes. Awesome!

Turns out I was the only student enrolled in this class. I think it was their first and they're still getting their name out for the classes.

The picture has a drawing and transfer paper so you just trace it onto you canvas. I used the pear transfer. You buy your paints that are listed on the packet.

The teacher was an instructor at Wesleyan University, so she really knew what she was doing. She showed me how to do the brush strokes and how to blend the colors.

I have to add that I had absolutely NO IDEA how to do any of this. Blending and using water and the brush strokes were all brand new to me. But acrylics really are easy to use and actually trying it out with someone to show you how to do it really helps.

She showed me how to use the brush strokes to give the fruit depth and how sometimes you blend the colors, sometimes you leave it. It gives it great accent. She showed me how to lighten and darken sides to show shadow and shades.

So, after 3 hours, I had a finished picture.
Here's a close up of the brush strokes and highlights.

It was really easy and really relaxing and fun.

So, after I got home, I was excited to start on my wall mural. The tree. I tried to pencil it on one other time, but the green wall is so dark, it was too hard to get my bearings when I backed up and looked at it from a distance.

So, hubby suggested I use chalk. It worked great!

I know it's really hard to see. I couldn't get the lighting right. It was dusk.
We had to move the table and I had to go back and forth to see it all together.

The roots took me forever to get right. The trunk started straight, then leaned and the roots were all over the place!

And one of the limbs I couldn't get right to save my life. I finally stretched it up and out and it looked right and even. I wanted the weight of the branches fairly even. I mean real trees aren't even, but real trees don't have curly branches. So, I have a lot of wiggle room, but I wanted it to feel right.

I used a wet dish towel to wipe off my errors. This branch to the left is going to have my super-cool retro owl.

Then, on Sunday I went back to JoAnn's to get more paint. Their Delta Ceramcoat, which my grandma swears by was on sale and I got a whole lot of colors for $.97. SCORE.

I couldn't wait to start and got most of the trunk done.
Some of the branches on the left are traced in. I can wipe off the chalk marks with a damp towel. I still need to do a lot of shading. The window is on the right and so the 'light' will be from the right and shadow on the left. I need to add more dimension and then some highlighting.
The roots still need a little work, too. Maybe some more depth and then maybe some stippling to show some roughness to the bark.

But it's my tree and will be as real or as whimsical as I'd like. So, I can't go wrong. :)

The girl had her friends over to play in the afternoon when I was working on it and they were all, "Oh, wow!" And I heard her tell them as they walked to her room, "Yeah, my mom's cool, she's an artist."


There's nothing like approval from your kids.

I mean... *sigh* It felt great.

And hubby loved it too, he was at work yesterday, so when he got home at 7am, frozen off the motorcycle. Who in their right mind would ride a motorcycle on a 39 degree morning.

He said he was really impressed. As he kissed me with icy cold lips.




Jana said...

First...Awe, with the icy cold kiss. You and your fireman are just too adorable. ;-)

Second...Woman! You are seriously rockin' that tree mural.Also, love the pear painting. I'm so impressed and embarrassingly jealous of your artistic ability. Can't wait to see what the finished product looks like.

Third...AWESOME that the girl thinks your cool. Let's hope she still feels that way when she's sixteen! hehehehehe

JenMarie said...

No kidding with my fleeting cool status. :)

Thanks for the nice words. I'm really happy and excited about it. The teacher was extremely helpful. And it's not at all as hard as you'd think it is. Seriously.

It's hard to mess up when painting. Mistakes some how just work. Artistic right and all.

I'm nearly done with the tree, I'll post an update soon. I have lots of additions that will take some time, but the tree is the first layer. There are coffee cups to hang from the branches, whimsy! And I plan to add exposed roots along the wall. Plus leaves and an owl.