My dad and I often joke about having a “beautiful mind”. But, sometimes when inspiration strikes, it truly can make you feel crazy if you don’t have an outlet. So, this time I decided to go out to the garage and grab a paintbrush…
No, I’m not calling myself an artist, and I’m not even suggesting that this is fine art. But, it did fulfill my need to create, and it does make me smile when I look at it. So, let’s just remember this: beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
If you find yourself feeling like you need to create, why not try your hand at an abstract painting? It’s more than just a little fun, and it’s not hard (once you figure out what to paint). Here’s my tips, or at least what worked for me.
–PAINT: I’ve used all kinds, from leftover latex paint to just regular-old craft paint–which is what I used this time. Just grab what you have around if you have to. (I used leftover paint from our house on the painting over the fireplace). Just know you really only need 5 colors to mix up any color you need: red, yellow, blue, white, and black. I’ve even used those metallic paints. They’re are like $1.49 when they’re not on sale.
–CANVAS: If you’re lucky like me, you have a Dad that likes to dumpster-dive as much as I do, and he’ll score you 3 wrapped canvases for free. If not, The Hobster (aka Hobby Lobby) has them on sale all the time, or you can use your 40% off coupon. (Don’t forget if you have a smart phone you can just pull up their website in-store, click on coupon, and flash them your phone.)
–PAINT BRUSHES: Try different sizes. Try a couple of different shapes, too. You can easily go overboard here, but the ones I used are random, low-quality brushes ‘cuz that’s what I have.
–SPONGES: These are great for blending. See how these flowers are all swirly? I used a sponged dipped in paint. And, there were some spots where I didn’t like how my colors were blending. So I dampened the sponge and used it. Worked great.
–water, paper towels (for cleaning brushes and sponge)
–try other items for different effects like old credit cards, torn pieces of cardboard, marbles
First tip has to be to go at it with the thought of this: It’s.Just.Paint. You can always go back over it. So, turn on your favorite playlist and relax. Have fun. Try new things and see what you come up with. If it sucks, paint over it. I had to repaint a zillion times. It adds depth, right?
Don’t overblend your colors. Swirl them together slightly, then load up your brush and glide it on (or your sponge, or other tool). If your background is green, don’t just use one shade of green. You’ll find that when you have that variegation of color it adds depth, making it look a little less cartoon-ey. Layers of color=layers of interest, k?
Find something (or some things) that you can look at that inspire you, but don’t just copy it. I used a pillow because I liked the colors (sorry, no pic of that). I tried not to worry about what it was going to look like in the end. I just knew I could do some kind of flower, and knew I couldn’t make them look real. In the end, I wanted something happy and cheerful.
Think scale. This is a relatively big canvas–30″x30″. So, I couldn’t have a lot of tiny flowers, and it would be boring to just have a few big ones. Overlapping is good, and even having some of them run off the point of view is cool.
Finally, know when to stop. I could have overdone it with the stem-things and flowers, but every now and then I would walk away and come in with a fresh eye. When I could walk in and not feel like something was missing, I knew I was done. As with life, you have to take a step back every now and then to see that it’s good enough just the way it is.
So, with that, I wish everyone a great week, full of color and inspiration. I am off to help my sister-in-law prepare for my first nephew. Talk to y’all later.
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