Tag Archives: painting

Pop Art App

Standard

I played around with an app I purchased called PopArt. The photo below is one of my sweet granddaughters after eating something berry-flavored at Dairy Queen. Cute, huh?

I sent the photo to PopArt and converted it into this image within the app.

I saved the pop photo, sized it, and sent it to my printer. I then used a printed copy and a light box to trace the photo onto mixed media paper. Painting the picture was a pain, but here are two versions.

The colors of the bottom photo match her bedroom. The picture is now framed and ready for Christmas!

Art Lessons

Standard

BFF and I have decided to work through a book of art lessons when we meet in the studio. The photo above shows our reference book — The Complete Painting Course, edited by Ian Simpson. So far, we’ve only managed to do the first lesson. The task was to set up a still life and use a limited palette to paint it. We set up the scene in the middle of our work table, BFF on one side and me on the other. BFF is a much more accurate draw-er than I am, but I still gave it a go. I won’t tell you whose is whose, but which one appeals to you?

Canvas Revisit

Standard

Last week, I shared my progress in understanding artistic principles as I worked on an abstract canvas piece. (If you missed it, see https://crapsmanship.com/2020/08/09/progress/.) I worked more on the canvas today, covering up a few parts I wasn’t happy with and adding some texture using a piece of screen material and some gold paste. I haven’t decided if I’m finished with it yet, but I’m liking the improvement. Now to decide which way I want to hang it. What do you think?

Horizontal?

Or vertical?


I used an app called “ArtRooms” to “hang” the picture in a home setting. I used the free version of the app, but you can get rid of the watermark with a paid subscription. I like them both of the imaginary settings for my art. I just wish my house looked that good!

 

Progress!

Standard

BFF and I recently bought two big canvases (70% off at Michael’s!) for the studio, and I’ve been experimenting with an abstract piece. I used to say that abstract art was easy — just slop some paint on a canvas. But it’s surprisingly hard. My photos today will show you my progress on the big canvas, which was also my first time painting on an easel. I am now much better at:

  • mixing colors,
  • avoiding making all the colors look like mud,
  • being willing to paint over a section I’m not happy with,
  • knowing I need to find balance,
  • varying the sizes of my marks, and
  • understanding that the piece needs to look good from afar and look interesting up close.

I still very much struggle with the ending — knowing when the piece is finished.

Here are several photos of the piece I’m working on right now. It starts with an attempt, then a total paint-over, and finally a direction to go, even though I’m not finished. 

Tweaking the circles:

Eliminating the circles:Starting over:

Trying it in a vertical position:

Better, but not yet finished:

Close-ups:

I’m also learning that art isn’t about the finished product, but rather the process and progress. Good learning!

A New Art Trick

Standard

BFF and I enjoy watching artists’ YouTube videos, and I just recently learned a very helpful trick from artist Adele Sypesteyn in this video “How to Get Unstuck in a Painting” at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CMgGFqJUVyE. You see, I do a very crappy job at imagining what a painting is going to look like if I’m contemplating a change to it. Here’s an example. I made this abstract picture that I really liked as is (see https://crapsmanship.com/2020/05/31/betty-krause-ish/), but then I decided to make it a little more representational by making my marks into flowers and creating a “pot” for the plant. CRAP ALERT: Below are my revisions. I DO NOT like it now! That pot is damn ugly!

But Ms. Adele taught me this brilliant trick. All you need is a sheet protector. I painted this potential revision directly on to the sheet protector taped to my painting. I like the shape but I think the black/white pot is too stark in contrast to the rest of the painting.

With a little bit of elbow grease and a baby wipe (my granddaughter insists we call them “art wipes”!), I cleaned the sheet protector and then added a pink and yellow pot that brings out the colors in the flowers.

This I can live with! So I painted the yellow and pink directly onto the painting, added a few black lines, and I’m now much closer to a finished product.

As I usually do, I’ll live with the painting as-is for a while before I make a few more changes. But Adele’s trick kept me from making a difficult-to-fix error. Thanks, Ms. Sypesteyn. I’ll keep this trick in my crafting toolbox!

 

Abstract Attempts

Standard

I’ve been drawn to abstract art lately, and it looks so easy to do. Just slap some colors on the canvas and call yourself an artist. NOT! This process has surprised me with its challenge. I’ve been watching the instructional videos of Betty Krause — her work is luminous, the colors are gorgeous, and her tutorials are explicit. (See her YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC_LtcQkDngMzTtnGtdl1gxA.) So I’ve tried to follow the general direction of her work. Here are two of my attempts.

The one above started life as a filler paper for a frame. I painted it with gesso, and then, ala Betty Krause, filled it with random marks using colored pencils.

I used water to spread the pencil marks around. Big slashes of black acrylic paint came next.

I then added random blobs of warm colors (reds, oranges, yellows), let them dry, and then added random blobs of cool colors (blues, greens, purples). Going back and forth between warm and cool colors, I eventually ended up with this.

I wasn’t quite happy with the overall construction, so I added some intentional marks with acrylic paint and china markers. Here’s the completed piece on temporary display in my living room.

Here’s another one I made, following the same steps as I’ve described above.

This one’s hanging in my half bath with a wrong-color mat. Once quarantine lifts, I’ll need a trip to the craft store to try out different mat colors!

More Mixed Media

Standard

It’s much, much harder to crap, er, craft these days without access to all my supplies or a quick trip to Hobby Lobby. It’s easy, though, to get lost in all the YouTube lessons, and this particular piece was inspired by mixed media artist Shawn Petite (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=luD0FyZV7vs). If you watch her video, you likely won’t see any resemblance between my piece and hers, but she was a great inspiration nonetheless.

I started with a long, skinny canvas that, believe it or not, my BFF and I picked up out of a neighbor’s trash. I applied assorted book pages and sheet music using gel medium. Once that was dry, I randomly stenciled on black numbers.

I used water-based spray paints to add blue and green colors to the canvas. I then applied a spray fixative so the colors wouldn’t run when I added my next layer.

I taped on a few random shapes, using scraps from my stash. The blue dot in the middle needed something, so I added some stenciled numbers. So far, so good. And the bonus was that some words from an old book remained easily readable in the bottom right area. It says, “When nothing is going well, call grandmother.” How perfect is that!

I liked the placement of the shapes, but I thought the piece needed something near the bottom to bring some balance. So I taped another black shape to audition it in the picture. I was happy with both shapes, so I used gel medium to glue it all on.

Almost there. But I needed a little more. So I added some white circles throughout the design, more green and blue to the blob at the top, and a few more stenciled numbers. This is now displayed on the wall in the bedroom we call  “The Grandkids’ Room.” I think I like it!

 

Mother/Daughter Glitter Shoes

Standard

 

For a Christmas gift to Princess M last year, I made her a pair of glitter shoes. I followed the directions from Amy Latta (see https://www.pinterest.com/pin/570268371565340317/), and they were easy peasy. The only two tricks were using the right paints and taping off the rubber bits well. Read the rest of this entry

In the Studio with the Grandgirls

Standard

Dan the Man and I have had three of our granddaughters visiting this week. Boy, are we tired! For fun mornings, we’ve been to the studio at least once a day, and I’ve been doing little lessons on artists and art techniques. Here’s my photo-documentation. Read the rest of this entry